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SDP questions MINDEF regarding the seizure of ICVs by the Hong Kong customs

Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) voices questions regarding the seizure of of Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICVs) by the Hong Kong customs which the Government had used for its overseas training in Taiwan.

The shipment was seized by the Hong Kong customs at Hong Kong’s Kwai Chung Container Terminal on Wednesday (23 November) after a routine inspection by the authorities.

MINDEF stated in a press release that Singapore authorities are currently providing relevant assistance to the Hong Kong Customs and expect the shipment to return to Singapore expeditiously.

The Government was quoted to have said that Hong Kong was not the final destination for the vehicles and there is a possibility that they were unloaded by mistake.

This incident raised questions from some members of the public.

SDP asked if there is any particular reason that the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) thinks it is actually acceptable to ship Singapore’s military equipment from Taiwan to Singapore via Hong Kong knowing fully the political tensions between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China.

SDP also questions the Ministry’s decision to transport the military equipment using a commercial shipping company.

“Would MINDEF contract out such operations to civilian companies in times of actual combat? If not, why are we not relying on our naval transport facilities and testing their operational readiness during training?” asked SDP.

Here is the Official Press Release on the questions of the incident from the SDP :

Singapore Democrats

The SDP is greatly concerned about the recent incident involving SAF armored vehicles seized in Hong Kong. The military and diplomatic implications are far reaching and may significantly impact on our country’s national security.

In this regard, there are immediate questions that the government must answer:

1. Is there any reason why the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) thinks it is actually acceptable to ship our military equipment from Taiwan to Singapore via Hong Kong knowing fully the political tensions between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China?

2. Why is sensitive military equipment transported using a commercial shipping company? Would MINDEF contract out such operations to civilian companies in times of actual combat? If not, why are we not relying on our naval transport facilities and testing their operational readiness during training?

3. What steps are MINDEF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs taking to secure the return of our assets without causing greater fallout with China?

It is important that Singapore maintains a strong and intelligent defence system. The latest incident raises questions on both fronts.