Malaya-Singapore Relations: Old Bilateral Issues have resurfaced under PH Rule, says Diplomat Bilahari Kausikan


February 22,2019

Malaya-Singapore Relations: Old Bilateral Issues have resurfaced under PH Rule, says Diplomat Bilahari Kausikan

Former diplomat Bilahari Kausikan said after Barisan Nasional was replaced by PH in the 14th general election last year, “old bilateral issues almost immediately resurfaced”.

Mr Kausikan said the fundamental reason for Malaysia’s continued provocative acts towards Singapore is because of the republic’s system of a multiracial meritocracy, which greatly contrasted from the former’s race-based policies.

Political instability in the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition and its failure to capture Malay support are aggravating relations between Malaysia and Singapore, said former Singaporean diplomat Bilahari Kausikan.

Mr Kausikan said after Barisan Nasional (BN) was replaced by PH in the 14th general election last year, “old bilateral issues almost immediately resurfaced”.

He was referring to recent disputes on maritime boundaries and joint airspace control, as well as ongoing negotiations into the price of water Malaysia sells to Singapore.

“These issues are not new and they cannot be resolved,” Mr Kausikan said in a public lecture at the National University of Singapore.

“To resolve an issue, both sides must want to resolve it. Whereas in this case, the other side’s interest is to keep them alive to use them to rally support. “It would be wrong to place too much emphasis on the personality of (Prime Minister) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) although that was undoubtedly a factor,” he told more than 200 attendees.

“More importantly, the new Pakatan Harapan government is fundamentally incoherent.

“It’s falling apart,” said Mr Kausikan.

He cited a Merdeka Centre research last year which found a three-way split of Malay votes for PH, UMNO and Islamist party PAS, meaning that the support of Malaysia’s largest ethnic group looks to be fiercely contested by the three groups.

The results, said Mr Kausikan, reveals the instability of the ruling pact, which will grow further as it desperately tries to rally greater Malay support if it hopes to retain power in the next general election.

Using Singapore as a bogeyman or whipping boy to rally the Malay ground is a time-tested tactic,” he said.

“Dr Mahathir used it when he led UMNO, he uses it now that he is head of Bersatu.

“This is not just a matter of personality or historical baggage.”

In his lecture, Mr Kausikan also said he expects Malaysia’s political scenario to remain in a flux for some time because of infighting within PH and the growing threat of Islamic fundamentalism.

Show of Might

The Former Policy Adviser to Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the republic’s incoming new leadership to maintain the country’s military capabilities, saying that a show of might is crucial in its dealings with Malaysia.

This is because Malaysian leaders will always seek to undermine and subjugate the city-state.

“Even though Singapore is now accepted as a sovereign state, it is not a situation which Malaysia is entirely comfortable with,” Mr Kausikan said at the lecture titled ‘Singapore’s relations with Indonesia and Malaysia’.

Today, the governments of our neighbours deal with Singapore as a sovereign nation only because we have developed capabilities that have given them no other choice.

“It is not their preferred way of dealing with a small, ethnic Chinese-majority city-state.

“They would prefer us to accept a subordinate role as do their own Chinese populations,” he said.

Singapore’s new leaders must, therefore, continue to “establish red lines,” which send a clear message to Putrajaya that the country is equipped and ready to use its military might in the event it is forced to a corner. The threat of use of force is as much part of diplomacy as negotiations.

Diplomacy is not just about being nice.“It is essential to establish red lines because it is only when red lines are clearly understood that mutual relations can be conducted on the basis of mutual respect.”

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Mr Kausikan said the fundamental reason for Malaysia’s continued provocative acts towards Singapore is because of the republic’s system of a multiracial meritocracy, which greatly contrasted from the former’s race-based policies.

“The basic and enduring issue is not what we do, but what we are – a multiracial, meritocratic small city state that performs better than they do and we must always perform better.

“The very existence of our dramatically very different system, too close to be ignored or disregarded, that does better than their system, poses an implicit criticism of their system to their own people.”

https://www.todayonline.com

 

30 thoughts on “Malaya-Singapore Relations: Old Bilateral Issues have resurfaced under PH Rule, says Diplomat Bilahari Kausikan

  1. Cheap water forever ? Singapore is rich enough to pay more and be a good neighbour.

    Form a Malaysia-Singapore economic union, and prosper together. Rather than bicker all the time.

    • Good neighbor! As punching bag as when Malaysia prefers? Of all the people you. Very disappointed. Guess you’re the privilege kind.

    • PKL, you are reeled in by Nona, hook, line and sinker. Mahathir has always presented one side of the story. Yes, 3 sen is cheap. What about the cost of water treatment? What about selling back treated water to Johor at hugely subsidized rate? Sand is cheap. But the silicon extracted to make silicon chip is not. What about the billions Singapore spent on constructing the water treatment plant, building up the dams etc.?

      I know you live in a bungalow. I am sure you are rich enough. How about sharing your wealth with me, your poor neighbour?

    • Singapore is now actually self-sufficient for water. They have various sources; reservoirs (Pierce, MacRitchie and Seletar) and maybe one or two more that I don’t know of, they have 3 (?) Newater plants and they have a couple of de-salination plants, one near Marina Bay and finally, water (from Johore) and they process it and sell some back to Johore for a huge profit.

  2. Actually do not understand what Mahathir is talking about when he says price of water is fixed until year 3000…Always thought it was until 2061 only.

  3. While i agree with most of what this Roaming Ambassador is saying about Octo using KKK (Kiasu-Kiasi-Kiabo) Lil Dot as whipping boy, i disagree with his assertion that PH is inherently ‘unstable’.

    I’m familiar with a few of the upper echelons of ‘PH’, and i can tell you that the top blokes actually get along fairly well and are cohesive – as long as they kowtow to the Octo-Daim nexus. So far, they are compliant with that.

    The impression that all is not well comes from the ‘Budak-Kia’ (child like) – the infantile response to unexpected and inexperience of being the prevailing Establishment. The ‘opposition-like’ propensity to warble inane, contrary and contradictory statements that show their genetic predisposition to suck their own toes.

    These Ministers are warbling, yodeling to blow their own horn without Protocal or Decorum. Some like that MITI one, keep on blaming their KSUs etc., cuz their own advisers are actually oblivious novices who have zero understanding when it comes to governance and the Malaysian civil service code.

    See here for some ‘civil’ education (especially for the DAP Chairman-Dep Chairwoman-Superman-Wong Tack types, if they can read and not shout vulgarities):
    http://www.spa.gov.my/en/siri1
    After all, folks like me, were establishment subversives (after more than 3 decades of ‘familiarization’), who followed the code even when the Kleptos ran Riot. Certainly ain’t CARMA but integrity and rectitude in the face of corruption, nepotism, debauchery – which the PH dark-arts operatives are now absorbing and practicing fast and blatantly.

    Just the other day, we have a small time Napoleon, who serves under Anthony the Bloke, castigating with yells of ‘Heads must Roll!’ refrain against those shell-shocked flurs in RTM. Only to be corrected by Gobind who explained what was Protocol.. Apa tu protocol? So instead of culling civil servants, perhaps they should look at their Own? Otherwise we have a bunch of Barbarians and Vandals, ya?

    Since there is a sudden explosion of lil Napoleons, crypto-Religio-Racist-Fascists and up-welling of chauvinistic and ineducable, hard core Red Beans. each warbling their own dialect (mot dialectic), the impression is that of Anarchy.

    That’s why we have Ragheads, UMNObites and other nothing-better-to-do Political Conspiracy Artistes keep yodeling about a parliamentary Coup d’etat and instability of the Octo-Anwar Cooperative. Other keen observers too, have the same impression.

    I’m sure many of you have questions. Just know that the present Establishment is Hamstrung – not by the ‘Trillion’ RM debt, but their own sense of Manifest Destiny.. Can Brader do better? We’ll know soon enough.

  4. Its much easier to clean a one- room flat compare to a bunglow. Of course there will argument within families what more between friends and foes.
    Space…that’s what we do not have and it is running out fast….hopefully RTS & HSR is one solution.

  5. Months before GE 14, I wrote a very brief article which was published by one of the more popular English daily that quite often published my letters (Letters to the Editor section).

    Here is the article:

    “We need a new government

    We need a new government, regardless of which party the people are from, race, sex, language or religion as long as they possess all the qualities the people need.

    They must be healthy and fine, have common sense, completed tertiary education (at least, and with a first degree from a recognised university, locally or anywhere in the world) , can speak and write good English and Bahasa Malaysia with an optional third language ( Asian – Mandarin preferably), good personality (acceptable looks and projects a good image (especially for the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister), intelligent, considerate, popular (in a sense) and fair, have no personal agenda and no personal interest whatsoever, not corrupt at all, be able to ‘walk the talk’ (I am referring to good talks only), diligent and hardworking (do not easily fall asleep), don’t have a spouse advising him (in particular, the Prime Minister), (I said spouse!), must believe in religion and worship one and pactise it faithfully (regardless of the religion), a visionary, a good orator in at least two languages, can debate well in parliament (so that he cannot be made fun of), can write well to, able to accept criticisms and will admit faults. Be able to correct what is wrong, have a sense of responsibility, and all the other good traits a member of the cabinet/lawmaker must have.

    The people must endeavour to look for people like this who fit the description and they will be the people who we all will vote for and who we will allow to govern us and the country and lead us into the future and lead Malaysia towards becoming a fully developed, properous, peaceful and harmonius country.”

    What did we get after we voted our candidates?

    A re-cycled very old PM, 93 going on 94, who was PM of the country for 22 years. Tun Dr Mahathir was sworn in as Prime Minister on 16 July 1981, at the age of 56. in May 2018, he was again made the PM after the coalition he led, Pakatan Harapan (PH) defeated the kleptocratic Najib led Barisan Nasonal (BN).

    WE all thought, we have resolved all or most problems the country faced, especially corruption and education. No, we did not, far from what I wrote in my brief article above!

    This was what we got instead and many questions:

    1. A team of ministers, deputy ministers and secretaries who are prone to make claims and then deny those claims after being criticised and say, “I was wrongly interpreted”.

    2. A team of ministers, deputy ministers and secretaries who made wrong decisions. Cancelling major infrastructure projects that were meant to serve the public are all major mistakes. They could have corrected them very quickly by cancelling the decisions.

    3. Some ministers, deputy ministers and secretaries who do not know how to do or carry out their jobs properly especially the Minister of Education.

    4. A team of ministers, deputy ministers and secretaries who are racists.

    5. Secretaries who are corrupt. Some are being investigated and charged for that dastardly act. Did they work in cahoot with their bosses?

    6. My final question is: Did we make the wrong choice when voting in the candidates at GE 14?

  6. Corrections and amendments:

    “dailies” – Months before GE 14, I wrote a very brief article which was published by one of the more popular English dailies that quite often published my letters (Letters to the Editor section).

    “voted in” – What did we get after we voted our candidates?

    “were all” – 2. A team of ministers, deputy ministers and secretaries who made wrong decisions. Cancelling major infrastructure projects that were meant to serve the public were all major mistakes. They could have corrected them very quickly by cancelling all the decisions.

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

  7. ‘What did we get after we voted in our candidates?’

    Well HAK, the problem is when ‘Main’ Politics becomes a Religion – with it’s own set of rituals and liturgy. Happens every Wednesday. Along with that Obsession-Compulsion comes: Self Interests, Ego, Pride, Hubris, Arrogance, Vainglory and Vanity.

    The chief Intent and pretension is to Compromise and KowTow, as long as they get to keep their lofty eyrie.

    Many in the Cabinet are actually very mediocre (inefficient, intellectually challenged) administrators or kakistocrats if you will – and have no holistic life outside Politics. So much for ‘Meritocracy’, Equality, Freedom and Fraternity – which is actually the motto from Ineducable Retards.

    I’m a firm believer of who you know, than what you know – up to a point. But then Octo has a penchant for choosing his own and usually the wrong. His “Ecce Homo” is himself.

  8. ‘ Its much easier to clean a one- room flat compare to a bunglow ‘.

    With our resources and the right people to lead and manage, to clean a palace is not an issue, let alone a bungalow.

    Hiding behind race and religion to abuse and rort the system, the way the country is run is criminal.

    Imagine if it were the ‘ entitled ‘ non Malay/Muslim who lead, abuse and rort the system?

  9. To overcome most, if not all the problems that we are facing, we should let Mr Lim Kit Siang become the Prime Minister or Malaysia before he expires.

  10. PS Relationship between neighbours all over the world is the same#you knock me I knock you. You just have to manage the knocks.

  11. “The very existence of our dramatically very different system, too close to be ignored or disregarded, that does better than their system, poses an implicit criticism of their system to their own people.”

    Instead of leaning from others to improve the life and standard of living of our ordinary people or taxpayers, our Ego lebih besar dari bola, kaki bodeh, kaki ampu, PHDs dll self serving and corrupt politicians don’t care.

  12. Great this column is still buzzing.
    Nevertheless guys , i visited KL four times in 2018 and am very impressed with your progress. Especially the city skyline.. not even close to our Marina downtown. Get the HSR running and Kunming here we come. The future is northbound.

  13. /// hak abdul karim February 25, 2019 at 5:19 pm
    So, we the people. We (I) thought we have got a better new engorgement but I was wrong. ///

    hak, you were not wrong. There is new engorgement, just not the engagement you were looking for. The Najib administration was about engorging himself with the billions from 1MDB. The Mahathir v2.0 administration is about engorging PH with the deadwoods and corrupt frog-hopping failed UMNO politicians.

    I am sure you are not talking about lactating mothers….

    https://www.google.com/search?q=engorgement&rlz=1C1CHWA_enSG630SG630&oq=engor&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l5.4454j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

  14. the

    “engorgement” was supposed to be “government” in my response to din marican’s text and I have made the amendment to it already so, your comment above is not required.

    You seem to be going after me and not after the text and I think that’s is not necessary.

    • The

      “engorgement” was supposed to be “government” in my response to din marican’s text and I have made the amendment to it already so, your comment above is not required.

      You seem to be going after me and not after the text and I think that’s is not necessary.

    • hak, no, no, not after you. just pulling your leg and going after your engorgement. no way I could figure out that engorgement means government.

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