Singaporean Defense Minister Outlines Conflict Risk During Committee Meeting

Growing tensions around the world have prompted Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen to say that today’s generation’s risk of regional or global conflict is “non-zero” in the next ten years in a speech during the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) Committee of Supply (COS) budget debate yesterday, February 28th.

Hen mentioned the recent conflicts in Ukraine and Israel, as well as the trade war between China and the United States. Hen said that Singaporeans now have more to protect than previous generations, with more resources available to do so.

Hen has taken the idea that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and MINDEF cannot rely on other countries but instead rely on themselves: “a strong SAF acts a deterrence against aggression towards us and keeps adventurism at bay.”

Singapore’s defense budget has remained around three percent since Singapore decreased the budget from five percent 20 years ago.

This was not due to cutbacks but to sustained spending over the long term to build a strong military.