Singapore Cultural Interaction

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Singapore and its neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia have had many turbulent times despite the short history of Singapore. One such prominent example is Singapore’s merger with Malaysia. This ended up being short-lived and Singapore separated from the peninsula in 1965 due to political and ethnic differences. (Schenk, 2013, 496) This short yet significant merger before Singapore's independence has occasionally casted a shadow over Singapore and Malaysia's bilateral ties. Other examples of events that led to tensions in the region were the konfrantasi by Indonesia between 1963-1966 as well as Singapore's dispute over Pedra Blanca Island in 2010. However, despite all these clashes Singapore has been able to maintain regional peace and stability…show more content…
Social constructivism states that countries do not fix their identity and state interests; they are instead socially constructed through mutual interactions and communication. (Nishizaki, 2014, 8) This idea was first introduced by Alexander Wendt. He mentioned that events that occur between two states determine their relationship. Since Singapore gained independence, its attempt to develop friendly ties with Malaysia has been successful especially in the recent years with current prime minister of Malaysia, Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak. Despite the conflict between the two states over the island of Pedra Blanca where a lighthouse is located, both countries managed to reach a common consensus that it belonged to Singapore. This was solved through the International Court of Justice with diplomacy and the help of international organisations. This cooperation at a political level reassured Malaysia that Singapore meant no harm and ensured peace in the region. Therefore, it is evident that due to the good social interactions between the two states, this problem was easily resolvable and led to Malaysia not attacking Singapore. In essence, when politicians feel that international cooperation between states is important for their country's growth; international relations follow the theories of social constructivism and
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