A weakening ringgit and slowing economy in Malaysia would not be beneficial to Singapore, said Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam at a forum organised by the Singapore Press Club on Thursday (Aug 27). Singaporeans may think the weakening of the Malaysian currency to the point that S$1 is equivalent to RM3 is a good thing, when they go on a shopping trip across the Causeway, Mr Shanmugam said.
However, in reality, there could be implications to the weak ringgit, given Singapore’s economic links with Malaysia. “We are the biggest investor in Iskandar Malaysia, so any trouble there is serious issue for us,” he said at the “Small state diplomacy: Challenges and opportunity for Singapore” forum. Mr Shanmugam also addressed other challenges Singapore might face in the wide-ranging two-and-a-half hour dialogue. For instance, another challenge will be in managing how Singapore could be impacted by the changing dynamics of relations between China, Japan and the United States.
He said Singapore’s foreign policy will see increasing pressures in the years to come. The competition may also lead to countries asking Singapore to state which side it is on. On the rivalry between Japan and China, he said that it is in Singapore’s interest to want stability. Mr Shanmugam said that the Republic will make decisions based on the interests of Singaporeans.