It has been close to two months since our military assets were seized arbitrarily by a power bent on supposed domination.
That power has afflicted our sensibilities despite us doing everything decently possible to negotiate an amicable end.
And now if insult to injury was not enough, it has demanded we in Singapore re-frame our diplomatic relations in ways it wants. It wants us to rescind Taiwan and banish it away from the frontiers of our national consciousness and act like as if, a military relationship that had been going on for more than 40 years never did exist!
How very imperious, is that? Even the United States which is by far the wealthiest and mightiest civilization in the world, never reckons it that way as it knows the laws of the land and the world as being too sacrosanct any power or peoples’ to roughhouse over it.
Too often we have heard that might is not right. But is it falling onto deaf ears?
Seizing another’s property is by all definitions theft pure and simple, to say nothing of how foolish it is for a global power to behave the way it does, just because it wants to make a point. Sounds like an enfanterrible.
Yet it is one of those rather difficult and odd times that political parties of all stripes need to band together for what matters most is not party persuasions as some have taken to bandying about – rather what the nation as a collective whole should be doing.
Such an episode has never befallen Singapore.
Still what we see from the opposition parties is not leadership but contrived brinkmanship designed not for the angling of a solution. Rather, they are for scoring debating points and perhaps some symbolic political mileage with the next general elections in mind.
What Singapore does not need is the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP’s) rendering from its secretary-general outlining the reasons – perhaps excuses is a better word – of why that power took to seizing our assets.
That is just stating the obvious.
We have a problem with China and what we need is a solution. And the opposition – not a single one of them – has proposed a solution. This is their golden opportunity to come forth and propose a way of dealing with the nation that has not been taken kindly to and exhibit the kind of leadership Singapore would like to see from the opposition. Alas there has been none.
Getting a solution going is what separates a statesman from a mere politician.
Leadership means everything for it is always one thing to oppose and yet another to propose.