Dr M Provokes Singapore Malays
SINGAPORE, Jan 20 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is at the centre of a storm after he stirred up the Malay community here with his comments on their position in the republic. Many readers of the Singapore Berita Harian resented the former Malaysian Prime Minister for saying that the Malays on the island were marginalised and lagged behind the other communities.
The paper has been publishing the response of readers to the comments that it published, and some of the letters expressed real anger.
One reader, Sallim Ahmad, said that it had become Dr Mahathir’s theme that “the Singapore Malays are being marginalised until the end of world.”
But the Malays here are progressing without subsidies and the position of Islam is protected although it is not the official religion, Sallim said.
Another reader, Kamariah Lim Li Hwa, hoped that Dr Mahathir would “investigate first our condition” before making any statement on the Singapore Malays.
“We the Malays of Singapore feel at ease and are grateful that the Singapore rulers execute our trust with transparency,” she said.
A letter from Eusope Musawa asserted that Singapore Malays lived in comfort and as equals with the other communities.
“Tun Dr Mahathir should advise Malaysian Malays to learn from Singapore Malays how to progress,” Eusope said.
Other readers were far less polite, using insulting phrases to refer to Dr Mahathir.
But one reader who called himself Walid Jumblatt Abdullah differed from them.
Walid said he was very happy to see Singapore Malays react with such alacrity to refute Dr Mahathir.
“How wonderful it would be if the Malay community (in Singapore) were to react with similar speed to handle such problems as dysfunctional families, moral decay and academic performance that is unsatisfactory and below that of the other races,” he said.
He said that Dr Mahathir had his weaknesses but the former Malaysian Prime Minister, whom some readers called “a senile old man”, had turned Malaysia into one of the Asian economic tigers.
He is the only Malay leader known throughout the world and is highly respected in the Islamic world, not least for his championing of such causes as Palestine, Bosnia and Somalia, Walid said.
Walid said that four non-governmental organisations, two of them Christian groups, nominated Dr Mahathir for the Nobel Peace Prize.
“As far as I know, he is the first Malay leader to be nominated for the prize,” Walid said. — Bernama
Source: Malaysian Insider - January 20, 2011
Ridhuan Tee: Singapore’s Might Will ‘Eat’ Us Up
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Singapore will “eat” Malaysia if the government does not prepare its military defence to face the “Jewish protégés”, Utusan Malaysia columnist Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah claimed today. In his column today, he suggested that Singapore would use its military might to create a “second or third Singapore,” while pointing to the Pakatan Rakyat-led Penang state government as potential contenders.
“The time of good faith and playing with them is over. Now is the time to work to face up to them. If they can prepare RM35.5 billion for defence in that small country, surely we must spend more than that. If not, we will be ‘eaten’ one day, believe me,” the senior lecturer at the National Defence University of Malaysia wrote.
He called on the government to take the best steps to face “the little Jews before the rice becomes porridge,” using the Malay proverb that means something regrettable that cannot be undone.
“The enemy is watching us. They are waiting for the chance to ‘enter’ at the right time.
“At that time, it will be too late to fight back. Can weapons made of stone match fighter jets and tanks as what is happening in Palestine? Allah wants us to learn from these events of the past.
“We need to remember, the leaders of Penang are always going there to look for ideas. Will there be a second or third Singapore, or more?” he said.
Tee was referring to a Singapore Sunday Times interview with the island republic’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, who said that without a strong armed forces, it would be vulnerable to pressure from Malaysia and Indonesia.
“Without a strong defence, there will be no Singapore,” Lee said in the interview. “It will become a satellite, cowed and intimidated by its neighbours.”
“If we do not have this strong SAF (Singapore Armed Forces), we are vulnerable to all kinds of pressures from both Malaysia and Indonesia,” he said.
“We are not vulnerable? They can besiege you. You’ll be dead,” Lee said.
“If we are not vulnerable, why do we spend 5 to 6 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product) year after year on defence,” he continued. “Are we mad? This is a frugal government.”
Although Tee acknowledged that this was true from a strategic and security standpoint, he said that the statement was “arrogant” as “without the help of Malaysia, Singapore would not exist.”
Tee pointed out that Singapore was once a Malay island and if Malaysia’s first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had arrested Lee, who later became Singapore’s first prime minister, and ordered a curfew before the two countries parted ways in 1965, the island would still belong to Malaysia.
He claimed that if our leaders then were not Muslims, or were communists instead, “Kuan Yew would have long ago been thrown into prison.”
Tee said that “we should have been as cruel as Kuan Yew, who throws those who oppose him into prison because he says they disturb the peace and planning of Singapore.”
In his column, he wrote that “in just over five years, Singapore spends what we have spent in the last 23 years” on defence, or RM180 billion.
This is despite Malaysia’s defence budget rising by more than five times from RM2.09 billion in 1987 to RM11.01 billion last year, making up for six per cent of the total government budget, said Tee.
“This amount is still small compared to our neighbour that is the actual threat to us. Are we not afraid of this new threat? Was losing Pulau Batu Putih not a lesson to us?” he wrote, referring to the dispute over Pedra Branca between Malaysia and Singapore.
He said that he was certain that the island would still belong to Malaysia had our military been able to defeat Singapore’s.
“Unfortunately, we continue to act in good faith and give ‘free service’ such as water to that ‘evil’ nation. Have they ever remembered our good deeds?” he asked.
He said that Malaysia was now afraid of “a small nation that depends on us for water. They win even that. We still appear to have lost, even though it belongs to us.”
Tee suggested that all our profits from oil and gas be used to develop our defences, claiming that if the RM50 billion of profits from national petroleum company Petronas were used for defence spending, “I am certain that in five years, Malaysia will emerge as a great nation in Asia and maybe globally.”
Source: The Malaysian Insider - January 20, 2011