The Power Of SMS


Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on April 11, 2009

 Singapore  Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s lecture at The Might of the Pen’s website 



mmleeINDEPENDENCE was thrust upon Singapore. The fundamentals of our foreign policy were forged during those vulnerable early years. They remain relevant because small countries have little power to alter the region, let alone the world. A small country must seek a maximum number of friends, while maintaining the freedom to be itself as a sovereign and independent nation. Both parts of the equations are equally important and inter-related.


Friendship, in international relations, is not a function of goodwill or personal affection. We must make ourselves relevant so that other countries have an interest in our continued survival and prosperity. Singapore cannot take its relevance for granted. Small countries perform no vital or irreplaceable functions in the international system. Singapore has to continually reconstruct itself and keep its relevance to the world and to create political and economic space.


untitledmmTo achieve this, we have to be different from others in our neighbourhood and have a competitive edge. Because we have been able to do so, Singapore has risen over its geographical and resource constraints. We earn our living by attracting foreign investments and producing goods and services useful to the world. Had we disported ourselves like our better endowed neighbours, we would have failed.


At the same time, we must never delude ourselves that we are a part of the First World. Our region has its own special features. Singapore’s destiny would be very different if it were sited in Europe or North America. We cannot transplant our island elsewhere. Therefore, a recurrent issue for Singapore is how to differentiate ourselves from our neighbours in order to survive, and also get along with them. This is a perennial challenge.


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