Lessons From The Terrex Issue

by Patrick Liew on February 2, 2017

While we rejoice in the return of our Terrexes, we should also not let the experience leaves the centre stage without drawing important lessons from them.


First, we should handle similar issues by upholding the rule of law and through proper channels.

Be gracious in letting all relevant parties carry out proper and due procedures.

Avoid doing anything that will end up having negative effects on our future.
Secondly, let’s seek to understand the other parties’ positions and behaviors before responding to the issue.
Be mindful that they may not be as efficient as us and they may have good reasons for their course of actions, inaction or delay.

Thirdly, as a rule of thumb, we should manage sensitive issues behind closed doors to avoid starting an unnecessary battle between the people of both countries and prevent unnecessary fallouts.

If we flame the other parties, their natural reaction is to flame back. Then, all parties may end up being burned and hurt.

Fourthly, be mindful that in building positive relationships, especially in the Asian culture, face is very important.
We should not let leaders of the other country
lose face or be seen to lose face in front of their people. That may create unintended consequences.

Fifthly, at all times, we should ensure that fear, panic, and greed will not rear their ugly heads and prevent us from thinking clearly and taking proper actions.

In such times, silence may indeed be golden.

Do not undermine the strengths that come with humility, quiet restraint, and principled engagement.

Sixthly, challenges may not just come from external parties.

We have to be vigilant against lies, half-truths and misinformation floating around and especially on the Net that will tear fabric of our society.

Also, we should be wary of political opportunists who will leverage such issues to upset our people and push their agenda at the detriment of our country.
The Authorities should respond wisely, effectively and promptly to ensure that negative information do not go viral and cause negative reactions.
In a bigger picture, the challenges that we face should never cause divisions and divisiveness amongst us.

If anything, they should unite us and strengthen our resolve to stand together and for one another “as one united people.”

In addition, we should continue to build a more stable, secure and sustainable relationship with all countries.
Preempt potential mine fields and proactively set up proper protocols and procedures to handle them.

To do so, we may need to set up a network of key stakeholders to help us, including those that are not from our country.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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