Singapore can be 'safe haven' to help advance peace: Minister, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Singapore can be 'safe haven' to help advance peace: Minister

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Singapore can be a place for progressive minds to contest ideas and share perspectives, and it should play this small but useful role to advance peace and humanity, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said yesterday.

Citing the decision to host denuclearisation talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this month, Dr Ng hopes Singapore can provide a "safe physical and intellectual haven" for new paths to be forged.

"We do not seek only to gather people who agree," said Dr Ng, in his welcome address to 400 delegates of the inaugural Singapore Defence Technology Summit at the Shangri-La Hotel.

Dr Ng noted that Singapore did not set out to be a venue for historic meetings, given its humble beginnings.

Even as Singapore developed, it did not proffer itself for prominent summits that eventually took place here, such as those between Chinese and Taiwanese leaders in 1993 and last year.

"But if we can play that small role to advance the cause of peace and enable the progress of humanity, then Singapore ought to do it and do it well," said Dr Ng.

He hopes the Singapore Defence Technology Summit can help countries deal with technological disruption's blessings and challenges.

Measures must be taken, for example, to ensure that new and useful technologies such as cloud-based services and data analytics do not undermine security.


Policymakers, academics and industry experts are among this year's attendees for the three-day summit, which comprises breakout and panel sessions and site visits. Topics such as cyber security, unmanned autonomous vehicles and big data will be on the agenda.

Exhibitors such as Chinese firm SenseTime, South Korean company Samsung and ST Engineering will showcase a range of technologies from robotics to patent analytics.

Some of the industry's top minds will also be speaking at the summit, including retired general Keith Alexander, who founded information technology company IronNet Cybersecurity.