Malaysia doesn’t need to make a bogeyman out of Singapore

I was never a diplomat, but to hear a former diplomat of Singapore describing Malaysia’s new coalition government as “intrinsically unstable” and hence wanting to use Singapore as a “bogeyman” to hold things together is a little too much for me to bear.

I can accept that not even a single newspaper in Singapore predicted that Pakatan Harapan would form the next government after GE14. But I will not accept the present characterisation of Malaysia by Singaporeans, regardless of whether they are former diplomats or analysts.

Malaysia and Singapore have many protracted issues. We should try to put those issues on the table for discussion and resolution based on mutual respect, bilateral agreements and international laws and conventions.

It is Malaysia’s right to bring up the issues. It is for Singapore to prove that the issues being brought up are unfounded or unjustified.

Malaysia does not need to make a bogeyman out of Singapore when we want to claim rights that are ours.

To characterise the Malaysian government as intrinsically unstable is an insult. We do not need diversion or distraction to claim what is rightly Malaysia’s.

What if I characterised Singaporeans as intrinsically “kiasu” and too selfish and smart for their own good? What if I characterised Singapore as a country that likes to take advantage of others by resorting to legalism to the hilt?

Maybe Malaysia was not so smart or competent in its dealings with Singapore in the past. Maybe we are now getting a little smarter and more competent.

But I believe Malaysia will not take advantage of or cause trouble for Singapore. I believe Malaysia will only claim what is duly ours.

TK Chua is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.