Photo of Ho Ching and Lee Hsien Loong at Vietnam

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was internationally embarrassed by his host Vietnam’s silence, who choose not to comment on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) while he made a declaration about going solo.

Despite having every one of the 10 members expressing disinterests in the TPP, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that he will go solo on the TPP deal. The dictator prime minister of Singapore was speaking to the Singapore state media in Vietnam today (Mar 24), and declared that his single-party government will ratify the TPP, without the need for any parliamentary debate.

“The TPP, we are all watching how things will develop. Singapore is proceeding with the ratification, I think Vietnam has deferred their ratification but they are watching to see how the other partners play going forward, and what the Americans definitely will do.”

The United States has already shot down the TPP pact, with 10 other members expressing withdrawal. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said there is no point continuing the TPP without the United States. The 10 other countries including communist Vietnam, except Singapore, face huge political opposition against the TPP and have scrapped the TPP plan.

Accompanying Lee Hsien Loong for the Vietnam trip were Minister for Trade and Industry, Lim Hng Kiang, and Minister of State Chan Chun Sing. Minister Lim Hng Kiang expressed his fervent support for Lee Hsien Loong:

“One option is for the remaining 11 members to negotiate bilateral deals, or the TPP11 could continue with the ratification process and hope that the US administration would change its mind and rejoin the deal. A third possibility was to follow on with a TPP11 without the US.”

However, neither has Lee Hsien Loong or Minister Lim Hng Kiang made any official proposal to any of the 11 countries out of fear of rejection.