Monday, 25 May 2015

[Today] Refugee crisis: S’pore taking wise approach

I support Singapore’s position of not accepting any refugees, especially when the Rohingya migrant crisis is one rooted in domestic issues.
Some have said that if Singapore does nothing, we cannot escape the blame for the refugees’ plight. But one of the fundamental principles of the ASEAN Constitution is the right of each state to exist free of external interference.
Singapore has rendered humanitarian help in terms of manpower, money and relief items when countries were struck by natural calamities, and in search-and-recover operations in incidents such as last year’s AirAsia crash. It also has a regional disaster-relief coordination centre located at the Changi Command and Control Centre to coordinate humanitarian assistance for disaster relief efforts.
But it is foolhardy to ask our Government to set up refugee centres elsewhere to house refugees. This would contribute to the rise of human traffickers, as Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said recently in response to the crisis. Offering help blindly sends wrong signals to criminals and the larger world.