SINGAPORE: Member of Parliament (MP) Pritam Singh has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to better highlight Singapore’s stand on controversial issues.
He said this was not only to solicit public feedback, but also to remove the chance for misunderstandings among the public to occur on such matters.
The MP for Aljunied Group Representation Constituency was responding to the Foreign Ministry’s request for clarifications on a parliamentary question he had put forth in January, on Singapore’s decision to abstain on the United Nations’ (UN) resolution to elevate Palestine’s status to a non—member observer state.
Singapore was one of the few UN member states to abstain from voting in favour of Palestine’s non—member observer status.
Mr Singh welcomed Singapore’s decision to abstain from voting in favour of elevating Palestine’s status, calling it "even—handed" and "pro—peace".
But he said many in the public may have misunderstood the decision as being pro—Israel, because of Singapore’s abstention.
He explained: "Even though Singapore had voted four resolutions in Palestine’s favour previously, our decision to abstain is more likely to be remembered than our previous voting patterns, because of the weight and international profile of the resolution to elevate Palestine’s international status."
In response, Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said: "We have been setting out our position publicly, regularly, including in Parliament. We will continue to do so, and see how we can follow up on his suggestions to see how we can further profile our foreign policy issues."
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