If Tun Abdullah Badawi brings politics to overshadow the true Islamic ideals, IKIM’s future would be ruined

If Tun Abdullah Badawi brings politics to overshadow the true Islamic ideals,

IKIM’s future would be ruined

Singapore’s armed forces buildup suggests it could be an outpost in the security chain the US is building around China, and this is contrary to the spirit of Asean, of which it is a member.

A LEADING US international intelligence agency recently published a significant report defining US-Singapore military cooperation and highlighting Singapore as one of the US’ prime regional strategic alliances and recipients of military assistance.

It also highlighted the objective of this cooperation.

Singapore owns the most modern armed forces in this region. With US military cooperation, support and guarantee, Singapore is equipped with the most advanced military equipment in the world.

According to military experts, Singapore’s military buildup is the best in terms of tactical-technological advancement in South East Asia.

The article Singapore’s Military Buildup: US Assists City-State to Improve Defences to Deter China specifically mentions that the continuous modernisation of Singapore’s armed forces is meant to become the key link in the security chain that the US is building around China.

The cooperation is viewed as a move to deter China.

Mark Helprin, an analyst from the Claremont Institute asserts that China is more dangerous than the Soviet Union.

The weakening of the US economically and militarily is giving rise to a new centre of power.

The US economy, mismanaged and drained by its global wars on terrorism, is increasingly dependent on Chinese trade imports and on Chinese holdings of US treasury securities.

China is the biggest preserver of the US dollar with US$825bil (RM3tril) worth.

Princeton University Professor Chris Hedges said if Beijing decided to abandon the US bond market, even in part, it would have a serious effect on the value of the US currency.

Consequently, it would lead to the collapse of the US$7tril (RM25tril) US real estate market, and there would be a wave of US bank failures and huge unemployment.

This psychological threat creates fear in the White House. Thus the buildup of security chains around China is deemed necessary. Japan, Australia, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia have already taken their place in the anti-China security chain.

Singapore being an advanced and developed country within South East Asian is deemed important in the US deterrence policy towards China.

Singapore’s military spending doubled to US$8bil (RM28bil) in 2008. With such an allocation, its armed force is well positioned to acquire the sophisticated weapons and technologies it needs.

Many strategic analysts believe that with such an arsenal, Singapore is able to destroy enemies on the ground, pre-emptively seize strategic territory and intervene quickly and effectively in Indonesia, Malaysia and other likely trouble spots in the contested South China Sea.

Like Israel, which lacks strategic depth and is outnumbered by potentially hostile neighbours, Singapore’s defence strategy is two-fold: build an offensive-minded security force that can strike at potential enemies before they harm it, and seek the support and protection of the US.

Besides Singapore, the US is also continuously seeking other potential strategic allies in the region like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

It is also raising the prospect of a return to Subic Bay in the Philippines.

At present, Singapore allows the US Pacific Naval Command to use its port for repair, replacing the role of Subic Bay which was closed in the 1990s.

Australia and Japan have already entered strong agreement with the US in the anti-China security chain.

US involvement in Singapore’s armed forces has led Singapore to become a big power partner of the US anti-China security policy in the Asia Pacific.

Undeniably, this kind of relationship sidesteps the Asean spirit to remain neutral and free from geo-political intimidation and interference.

Singapore’s effort to modernise its fighting forces, working to better integrate its force with that of the US and Australia and other regional militaries, and being located at one of the world’s most strategic checkpoints – both economically and militarily – will likely see it emerge later as a front-line outpost in the escalating military confrontation between the US and China.

It is time now, for peace loving countries in this region to reject this kind of engagement.

Any process towards war must be blocked by any means. Malaysia should take the lead to mobilise member states of Asean to realise the spirit of non-confrontation and mutual cooperation.

The military policy and strategy that encourage arms race and suspicion must be avoided at all means.

Avoid confrontation in Asean, IKIM VIEWS By SUZALIE MOHAMAD, Fellow, Centre of Syariah, Law and Political Science, Ikim.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: