Friday, September 22, 2006

Historical baggage, Part 2

Well, it should not come as a surprise that former Malaysian PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad has condemned Singapore strongman Lee Kuan Yew's statements on Malaysia's race issues.

Pix of Kuan Yew and Dr M during a bilateral meeting in Putrajaya in Malaysia in September 2001. Despite all the smiles, everyone present then was quite sure that their skeletal agreements to resolve all the outstanding bilateral problems, including the sale of water to Singapore, would not last.

Dr M's quotes in Bernama report, 22 Sept 2006:

He's not bothered with his neighbours. That is why he deliberately raised something he knew to be sensitive in our country.

We could ask about the status of the Malays in Singapore, why they are not allowed to bear arms in the military or train to handle weapons.

Why is it that the Malays in Malaysia are so capable in the military field but the Malays in Singapore cannot hold high posts (in the military)?

Why is it that the Malays in Singapore are marginalised to the extent that they have no status at all?

This is done deliberately by Singapore. There is no other country that does it like them.

The Chinese in Malaysia can join the military and rise to become general, major general and so on. But what is the per capita income of the Malays in comparison with the Chinese in Singapore?

We should have an independent investigation on why the Malays are left behind in Singapore.

It is not because they are lacking compared to the Malays in Malaysia but because they are pressured, marginalised and oppressed. That is the kind of government founded on the views of Lee Kuan Yew.

You should just guard your own rice bowl. You are not that clever. In a small group, perhaps you seem clever.

But when he goes to China, the Chinese there don't want to listen to him.

The Chinese in China don't think much of him and it is a fact that he is marginalised by Chinese in the world.

Please see earlier posting and Kuan Yew's full quotes below for the context of the latest barbed exchange, and Dr M's blunder.

Mr Lee also said it was important for Singapore to have a government that was 'really firm, stout-hearted, subtle and resolute'.

'My neighbours both have problems with their Chinese. They are successful, they're hardworking and therefore they are systematically marginalised, even in education,' he explained.

'And they want Singapore, to put it simply, to be like their Chinese, compliant. So every time we say 'no' to some scheme to knock down the Causeway and build a bridge, he says 'Oh, you are not cooperative'. You are only thinking of yourself.'

Mr Lee explained that Singapore eventually said it would agree if there were 'commensurate benefits'.

'But you need a government that will be able to not only have the gumption but also the skill to say no in a very quiet, polite way that doesn't provoke them into doing something silly.'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, well said! :-)