A and Malaysia whom together with Singapore form a

A major challenge to
national security is due to unfriendly neighbours. In particular,
countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia whom together with Singapore
form a triangular relationship. Singapore being an ethnically diverse
society surrounded by larger neighbours of malay majority societies such
as Indonesia and Malaysia, the political climate is one that is
potentially hostile. History between nations have led to a long held
enmity causing negative sentiments towards the thriving of the small
nation. There are tensions yet to dissipate between Singapore and the
two nations. This is evident in direct military threats such as through
Indonesia and Malaysia’s largest bilateral military exercise Malindo
Darsasa 3AB in Johor- an area uncomfortably close to Singapore- where
paratroopers and high military activities were conducted on Singapore’s
National Day. This unfriendly display of military forces signals to
Singapore that these nations are ready to challenge her sovereignty. A
more direct threat to her sovereignty and territorial boundaries is when
Malaysia’s information minister had mentioned on Singapore’s National
Day that Malaysia should ‘regain full control’ over Singapore given to
them since their independence. However, these relationships are
indispensable for Singapore as she is heavily dependent on Malaysia and
Indonesia for resources such as water and natural gas. This is one of
Singapore’s greatest vulnerabilities which is more potent when they use
this to their advantage to secure their own interest. This is especially
so with Malaysia. For example when there was conflict between Singapore
and Malaysia on the re-location of the railway customs checkpoint,
Malaysian authorities had threatened to cut Singapore’s water supply. On
multiple occasions, in similar political disagreements due to clashing
interests, threats to Singapore’s security of essential resources would
be their main strategy to jeopardise Singapore’s economic prosperity and
suit their interests. For these reasons, the SAF has to be formidable
to ensure that Singapore’s neighbours will not decide to threaten her
using military force. If necessary, a strong SAF can be mobilised should
countries fail to supply resources. By constantly adjusting its threat
analysis and staying up to date with the right defense technologies and
equipment, the SAF has the duty to remain as an effective deterrent,
gaining the upper hand over the other militaries at all times.