SINGAPORE: Should Singapore’s foreign policy better take into account the sensitivities and interests of its neighbours?
That’s the topic given to two teams of junior college students from Hwa Chong Institution and Anglo Chinese Junior College in the finals of the Singapore International Affairs Debate Tournament.
For the students themselves, it was an enriching experience in research.
Poring over books and speeches of ambassadors and Singapore’s foreign ministers helped to raise their awareness of the nation’s policies.
Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam also shared his perspective with the teams and gave away prizes to the winners.
The debate was won by Hwa Chong Institution and the best speaker was Rabin Kok from Anglo Chinese Junior College.
Winner, Woo Jek Jin, from Hwa Chong Institution, said: "The issues ranged from current issues such as the Bersih rally to age old issues like the South China Sea. It really went through the entire history of Singapore’s foreign policy. I actually considered being a diplomat and that somewhat solidified my view as to Singapore’s foreign policy and what we can do in the future."
Rabin Kok said: "Through this debate, I learnt Singapore’s position in the world, the way our neighbours interact, the way we see our neighbours, the way we accommodate them and come to a beneficial solution and one that takes into account that every party sees things."
Mr Shanmugam said: "The facts that they have brought out the arguments that they have put out and some of the analogies they have given shows a degree of thoughtfulness and understanding which is encouraging."
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