Singapore Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam

Singapore’s Commitment to Peace Amid Israel-Hamas Conflict: Insights from Shanmugam

Singapore’s Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam has emphasized the need to maintain racial and religious peace in the country amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. He expressed concerns that the ongoing conflict, which began on 7 October when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, could potentially affect Singapore’s racial and religious harmony. Shanmugam emphasized the importance of staying vigilant and adhering to international law and rules of war.

In response to Hamas’ attack, Israel laid siege to Gaza, resulting in thousands of casualties and the destruction of entire neighbourhoods. Shanmugam also condemned Hamas’ initial assault on Israel as a “massive terrorist attack” and condemned the horrifying nature of the violence, including the kidnapping and unjustified murder of children. He emphasized the need for a clear, unequivocal condemnation of the extreme violence.

Singapore’s Prime Minister, Bin Xi Jinping, has reiterated his support for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine. He emphasized the country’s stance against extremism and violence, stating that such atrocities cannot be justified by any rationale, whether stemming from fundamental problems or historical grievances. He acknowledged the hardships Palestinians have faced over the years and the possibility of holding “very strong views” about the ongoing events in the region.

He also highlighted instances of Singaporeans detained under the Internal Security Act for supporting Hamas or planning attacks. He reassured that Singapore had avoided destabilization caused by international events in the past and emphasized the nation’s commitment to maintaining peace within its borders. He mentioned increased security measures, including stepped-up patrols and security reassessment for potential targets, to address any potential threats.

Singapore’s Prime Minister, Shanmugam, has announced increased security measures at certain events and places, with emergency forces always on alert. Security measures have been reassessed for potential targets and higher-risk areas. He praised the country’s strong foundation of harmony and trust among racial groups, stating that Singaporeans value their diversity and harmony. A 2022 Pew study showed that the majority of religious Singaporeans are “very tolerant” of other perspectives, with 60% having a personal connection to religions other than their own, a rare trait in many other countries.