28 September, 2006

PM sends Singapore letter on LKY remarks

PM sends Singapore letter on MM LKY remarks

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has sent a letter to the Singapore government seeking an explanation over recent remarks by Lee Kuan Yew.

Lee, Minister Mentor in the Singapore Cabinet, had said the Chinese in Malaysia were being marginalised.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the Cabinet was informed yesterday that the letter has been despatched.

"We expect Singapore to say sorry for Lee’s remarks," he said.

He added that if Singapore continued to come up with baseless remarks, it would be difficult to maintain cordial relations.

Syed Hamid said that Lee, as the former Prime Minister of the republic, should have known better than to utter such remarks as it also went against Asean’s non-interference policy.

"I believe Singapore’s motive is to make Malaysia look bad to foreign investors but they won’t succeed because the world can see that we Malaysians always stand together as one nation," he said.

Abdullah said on Monday that he wanted Lee to explain himself as his comments could cause racial tension.

Lee told a forum in Singapore on Sept 15 that the city-state’s neighbouring countries, Malaysia and Indonesia, "have problems with the Chinese. They are successful, they are hardworking, and therefore, they are systematically marginalised".

He also said the two countries "want Singapore, to put it simply, to be like their Chinese — compliant".

Abdullah had said Lee’s remarks were not welcomed and the republic’s founding father had appeared to show he had no qualms about making such a highly-charged statement.

The Umno supreme council meeting today will discuss the forms of action to be taken against Singapore following the remarks.

Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said the matter would be raised following immense pressure from the grassroots for stern action to be taken.

In Jakarta, Indonesia summoned Singapore’s ambassador to explain Lee’s remarks.

Director of the Indonesian foreign ministry’s East Asian and Pacific Affairs division, Yuri Thamrin, described Lee’s comments as "inaccurate" and required explanation.

Apparently Johor UMNO is asking the Malaysian Federal Government:

" to cancel all projects that would benefit Singapore more than it would Malaysia, especially the proposed Kuala Lumpur-Singapore Bullet Train project."

MALAYSIA cannot cancel all Singapore's investments because that could send wrong signals to other investors.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Monday that the country needed foreign direct investments but it must also ensure that they did not affect Malaysia's interests and ownership of strategic sectors and industries.

'Otherwise it would create dissatisfaction or raise adverse implications to the country's security. Leave it to the government to weigh the matters, on a case-by-case basis.'

Datuk Seri Najib was commenting on Johor Umno's call for the government to cancel all projects that would benefit Singapore more than it would Malaysia, especially the proposed Kuala Lumpur-Singapore Bullet Train project.

Johor Umno also asked that Malaysia stop taking into consideration Singapore's interests when implementing projects under the RM15 billion (S$6.5 billion) Johor South Corridor project.

The calls followed Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's remarks that the Chinese in Malaysia and Indonesia were being systematically marginalised.

Meanwhile, Umno Information Chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib said the party's Supreme Council would discuss the course of action to be taken with regard to Mr Lee's remarks, Berita Harian Malaysia reported yesterday.

He said there were calls from Umno grassroots that the party issue a stern response to Mr Lee's comments.

We can see that Johor UMNO has consistently opposed any increase in direct transportation links between Singapore and KL. They have opposed increasing the number of flights and number of carriers that could fly between Singapore and KL, and now they oppose the bullet train project. Why? We can conclude that there is a pattern in their objections: they oppose any agreement between Singapore and KL that would allow people to travel between Singapore and KL directly, and bypass Johor.

This conclusion raises some important questions about Johor UMNO. They are willing to sacrifice the mutually beneficial interests of Singapore and Malaysia out of spite and jealousy. They are willing to sacrifice the interests of the people of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore because they wish to protect the business interests of their lobbies in Johor. And worst of all, they cloak their economic protectionism behind false nationalist rhetoric in order to distract the Malaysian people from realising how craven they actually are.

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad was right when he described Singapore as "tiny".

But I can't understand why he said, "The country is tiny, don't be too proud", unless he was thinking like an army general, a business tycoon or a boy bragging, "Mine is bigger than yours."

I would have thought "tiny" Singapore had all the more reason to be proud of its achievements.

Shouldn't a country no bigger than the city of Pune, in India, or Edmonton, in Canada, and smaller than Kansas City, USA, be proud of itself when it has the world's busiest airport, busiest container port, fifth cleanest/least corrupt economy and one of the world's highest living standards, ranked 11th by the Economist magazine?

Malaysia can be proud of its prosperity too. But it is blessed with natural resources like oil, unlike Singapore which has progressed through sheer ingenuity and economic foresight.

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew can justly claim that, as Singapore's first prime minister, he transformed Singapore into one of the world's richest nations. It's the third richest Asian economy with a gross national per capita income of $27,490 surpassed only by Japan and Hong Kong, according to the World Bank.

Singapore owes a lot to MM Lee -- including, unfortunately, this latest dig by the former Malaysian prime minister.

Dr Mahathir's outburst against Singapore was really return fire to MM Lee.

The Chinese are marginalised in Malaysia and Indonesia, said MM Lee, adding that Singapore had to stand up to its bigger neighbours.

That infuriated Dr Mahathir, who is easily provoked by anything to do with Singapore.

Malays are marginalised in Singapore, he claimed.

Never mind that Singapore does not officially favour one race over another unlike Malaysia, which protects the indigenous Malays.

Never mind that MM Lee was right, according to some of the Chinese Malaysians.

The controversy is snowballing.

Even Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who avoids confrontations, has joined the fray.

He has said he will write to MM Lee asking for an explanation for his remarks, reported the International Herald Tribune.

"It is a statement that can incite Malaysian citizens of Chinese descent," he said.

He added, "If our country is not stable, Singapore will also experience the impact because it has economic interests here."

The last bit is true. After the coup in Thailand, the last thing Singapore needs is trouble free with neighbouring Malaysia. The economies of all three countries are closely interlinked.

But neighbours being neighbours can't avoid run-ins, I guess.

Thailand's accusation of AP as a barrier for its cars into Msia is good example of why our NEP is hampering the progress of foreign manufacturers in this country. The list goes on and on.And the Malays are saying that they need APs to go beyond 2010 as they can't survive. What have they been doing with the "free" money all these decades? I think LKY's statement should be a wakeup call to the PM that by providing cructhes to some Malays and marginalising the rest, the country and the "unprivileged Malays" will lose out when the hardworking and smart ones move on , possibly to Spore and I suspect it is also a " come to me" call by LKY to invite the Chineses to invest and put money in Spore. LKY is as foxy as our ex-PM in his choice of words and I am sure it proved hard to grasp by the current PM and his "simple-minded" Cabinet boys.

Here is strong evidence to prove that Chinese are NOT maginalized in Malaysia.

1. Chinese have to buy houses at 5% - 15% more than a Bumi pays for the same house in any housing estate?
2. Chinese cannot get scholarships or university places even with excellent results.
3. Chinese cannot be Vice Cancellors of Malaysian Universities.
4. Chinese cannot be given key portfolios in the Cabinet.
5. Chinese cannot be made Governors of Penang or Melaka?
6. Chinese cannot be CEOs of any GLc?
7. Chinese cannot occupy top positions in the civil service, police, army and even in any local governments.
8. UMNO can wave the keris at the Chinese and be proud about it.

Did I say they were not maginaized? Then what do you call these?

Latest News

KUALA LUMPUR (AP): Malaysia summoned Singapore's ambassador Thursday to explain elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew's claim that ethnic Chinese minority citizens in Malaysia and Indonesia were being marginalized, an official said.

Malaysian Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Rastam Isa met with Singapore's High Commissioner T. Jasudasen after Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi earlier this week sent a letter to Singapore's government, apparently to seek an apology for Lee'scomments.

Ministry officials wanted to "seek clarification" over Lee's remarks, a Singapore High Commission official said on condition of anonymity. Singapore "will respond through appropriatechannels in due course," the official added.

Foreign ministry officials declined to comment.

Lee, Singapore's founding father who holds the Cabinet post of minister mentor, told a forum in Singapore on Sept. 15 that Malaysia and Indonesia "have problems with the Chinese. They aresuccessful, they are hardworking, and therefore, they are systematically marginalized."

Indonesia also summoned Singapore's envoy earlier this week to explain Lee's remarks at the forum that Malaysia and Indonesia "want Singapore, to put it simply, to be like their Chinese - compliant."

Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said his country expects Singapore "to say sorry for Lee's remarks," the New Straits Times newspaper reported Thursday.

"I believe Singapore's motive is to make Malaysia look bad to foreign investors but they won't succeed because the world can see we Malaysians always stand together as one nation," Syed Hamid was quoted as saying.

Prime Minister Abdullah has expressed displeasure at Lee's remark, suggesting that it could stir up Malaysia's Chinese, who make up about a quarter of the country's 26 million population and are its second largest ethnic group. He has also noted thatrace relations in ethnic Chinese-majority Singapore are also not perfect.

The ruling United Malays National Organization, which is led by Abdullah, planned to discuss action that could be taken against Singapore over Lee's remarks at a Supreme Council meeting scheduled later Thursday, the New Straits Times added.

Malaysia and Singapore have close cultural and economic ties, but a history of quarrels, bad blood and rivalry. In recent years the neighbors have sparred over the price of water, and took aterritorial spat over a tiny islet to the World Court.


Blogger A Voice said...

LKY is a racist with long malice intentions on the Malays and Malaysian.

Download this Waspada Malaysia article series by a former PAP activist that was published on MalaysiaKini from the following web addrress:


October 07, 2006 10:47 PM  

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