Political Unity Key to Singapores Success

Singapore needs an opposition which understands the country's interests and does not seek to undermine them, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday (27 Nov) when giving the S. Rajaratnam Lecture on foreign affairs.
PM Lee said such political unity is needed for domestic success. And domestic success - which means having economic prosperity, peace, a well-run state and strong defence - is what underpins successful foreign policy. "Singapore must continue to succeed as a nation to wield any influence at all."
Stressing that being united politically does not mean having no opposition, rather it means that the Government and opposition "come together after elections, especially when dealing with other countries".
What Singapore need is "an opposition that will understand Singapore's fundamental interests in the world and will not seek to undermine them, to court foreign support or to gain political points", he said.
Singapore has had opposition politicians like that, he added, and cited former Member of Parliament Chiam See Tong.
"Whatever our domestic disagreements... when he travels overseas, he stands up for Singapore and closes ranks. And that is really the norm that should prevail in politics in Singapore."
Besides political beliefs, PM Lee stressed that Singaporeans must also be united "regardless of race, language and religion".
Adding that our ethnic groups have cultural ties to corresponding groups in India, China and South-east Asia. PM said this is an asset as it aids cooperation, but also a vulnerability if "external ethnic or religious pulls split us along the primordial fault lines".
"So we have to keep working at our racial and religious harmony, and keep strengthening our shared Singaporean identity," he said.
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Source: “Political unity key to Singapore's success: PM” (The Straits Times, 28 Nov 2015)

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