Singapore voices concern to Vietnam over flag-burning incident

Hannah Teoh
Senior Content Producer
Protesters wave flags and hold placards on a street outside a factory building in Binh Duong on May 14, 2014

The Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has issued a strong statement to the Vietnamese government over the burning of a Singapore flag during a protest in Vietnam.
 
According to an MFA statement, the flag was burnt by protesters in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) in Binh Duong on 13 May.
 
Local media reports say that the protesters may have mistaken the Singapore flag for the flag of China.
 
The MFA spokesperson said: “This is a serious incident.  The flag is a sacred national symbol and should be treated with respect.”
 
The Singapore embassy in Hanoi also urged the Vietnamese government to ensure that such an incident would not be repeated.
 
Beijing’s decision to deploy an oil rig into part of the South China sea claimed by Vietnam has triggered deadly anti-China protests in Vietnam.
 
Protesters have torched and looted Chinese-owned factories, but Taiwanese, Hong Kong, Japanese and Korean factories have also been trashed after protesters mistook them for Chinese companies.  
 
So far,  Singaporeans in Vietnam have not been affected by the demonstrations, but the Singapore government is continuing to monitor the situation closely, added the MFA.