Envoy Ong questions the paper’s refusal to publish a rebuttal against the accusation that his office wants to see BN fall.
PETALING JAYA: Singapore High Commissioner Ong Keng Yong today bemoaned Utusan Malaysia’s refusal to publish his office’s defence against the Umno paper’s allegation that it might have supported the Bersih 3.0 rally in order to see Barisan Nasional fall.
“We have put across our stand, but Utusan has not published the letter that we sent on Saturday,” Ong said.
“Their readers think that we have not done anything.”
Ong said he sent the letter in response to Utusan’s publication last Wednesday of an opinion piece written by editor Zaini Hassan.
The article questioned Malaysia’s silence on allegations linking Singaporean diplomats to Bersih and a bid to topple BN from power.
On Friday, Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Ministry rejected claims that three officials of its mission in Kuala Lumpur participated in the rally.
It said the three were impartial observers conducting their “normal professional diplomatic duties”, according to the Singapore Straits Times.
The three are deputy high commissioner and counsellor Ariel Eunice Tan Hwi Tiang and first secretaries Philomena Aw Li Fen and Regina Low Kay Yin.
On the same day, the high commission published a letter on its website, addressed to Utusan Malaysia. It said the high commission was an impartial observer in a wide range of social, economic, and political activities in Malaysia.
“The Singapore High Commission takes an impartial stance on all political developments in Malaysia,” the letter said.
“We do not take any actions to affiliate ourselves with any political entity.”
Zaini’s opinion piece prompted a protest by Malay rights group Perkasa yesterday. The protesters demanded the replacement of the three high commission officials.
Perkasa also demanded an apology from the high commission as well as an assurance that such an incident would not be repeated.
Ong said Perkasa’s demand had been forwarded to the government in Singapore.