After facing massive backlash from Singaporeans at home, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong insisted that Singapore must fight ISIS in Iraq soil. The Singaporean dictator said that ISIS has already placed Singapore as one of its targets, alongside Malaysia and Indonesia, regardless if Singapore are sending troops to Iraq or not.
“If they see Indonesia and Malaysia as legitimate targets, all the more Singapore (as) a rational, open, cosmopolitan country, and not what they think countries should be … should be attacked. So do not think that by lying low, we are not going to be a target.”
However the pro-US Singaporean Prime Minister is not aware that Singapore is currently the only South East Asian country volunteering to go Iraq and that has positioned Singapore higher up on the terrorist’s priority list.
Singapore will be sending an unspecific number of soldiers, or “a battalion-size” according to state media report, as medical support and base defence force. The estimated number is around 400, and the cost to Singapore is estimated around S$150 million a year from 2017 onwards. It is unknown if National Service conscripts will be deployed.
Even though the decision did not pass through Parliament approval, PM Lee Hsien Loong said that his decision is final:
“Singapore will send a team to recce and understand the circumstances. And then we will see how we will do it. But we will do it.”
Lee Hsien Loong’s decision to send troops to Iraq highlighted the undefined powers of the Prime Minister in Singapore and the legitimacy of the country’s democracy.
The Iraq war is an invasion of Iraq by the United States and it was triggered by fabricated evidence presented by former US president George Bush claiming there were weapons of mass destruction.