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S'pore must continue to be firm, yet tactful

I write with regard to "As a small state, S'pore must not be bullied", (The New Paper, July 18).

Singapore has always punched above its weight, and must continue to do so on the world stage.

This is the only way for Singapore to ensure its survival, which is why I agree with Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. Singapore must continue to be heard on the issues that truly matter.

It has a say because it has not only always done the right thing, but also set the standard for how a country should be run and how the welfare of its people should be taken care of, regardless of what some ill-informed people might say.

That must count for something at world forums, where Singapore can actually make a difference.

And no one should even begin to contemplate changing our stance.

Being firm but tactful has guided us through stormy seas that would have swallowed most vulnerable nations, especially in the dark days at the very beginning. We have come a long way since, but we must never ever become complacent about our place in the world.

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Vivian BalakrishnanMINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (MFA)United Nations