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Calvin Cheng: Castle, drawbridge and need for open Singapore borders

Singapore depends on the outside world, he says

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Singapore — Ex-NMP continues to insist Singapore’s borders should be kept open.

Singapore “cannot survive if we close up and shut the world”, the former Nominated Member of Parliament wrote in a Facebook post on April 26.
He returned to this theme with a new analogy, the castle, in a Facebook post on Wednesday (May 5).

RAISING THE DRAWBRIDGE

I took a break as it was quite depressing reading the comments on main stream media, on the…

Posted by Calvin Cheng on Wednesday, 5 May 2021

“When people are afraid, the first tendency is to raise the drawbridge and believe that if they do so, they will keep the danger out and all will be fine,” he wrote.

However, if the castle is not self-sustaining and the people rely on the outside world to survive, raising the drawbridge staves off danger, but the people would eventually starve.

Much like the castle, Singapore is dependent on the outside world. Singapore is a trading, financial and business hub dependent on people coming and going, and on imported labour. “As a small country that is not resource rich, Singapore cannot afford to shut its borders for a long time.” said Minister Lawrence Wong on Tuesday (May 4).

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Mr Cheng also noted that Singapore has the fourth strictest border restrictions in the world, after China, Australia and New Zealand. He said that even Taiwan is issuing business passes, student and work passes and restricted arrivals from India after Singapore.

He firmly believes that closing the borders will only help if we do so forever, but that is not feasible because of Singapore’s dependence on other countries. He asserts that the only way out of the pandemic is through vaccinations and treatments.

“Stop yelling for the drawbridge to be raised.” he says, addressing the many Singaporeans who have been calling for a permanent border closure with high-risk countries such as India.

According to the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority, only returning citizens and permanent residents (PR), long-term pass holders, and families of citizens or PRs are allowed entry in Singapore.

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From 11.59 pm on Friday (May 7), anyone entering Singapore from places other than Australia, Brunei, mainland China, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau will have to spend 21 days in quarantine.

Additionally, all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who have been in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the last two weeks will no longer be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore.

Denise Teh is an intern at The Independent SG. /TISGFollow us on Social Media

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