A former ambassador from Malaysia has said that Singapore must get accustomed to the new Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led government, who will be less accommodating toward Singapore than the former administration.
“Singapore had best get used to the fact that there is now a new government in Putrajaya that prioritises Malaysia’s interests above all else.
If it cherishes good relations with its neighbours, Singapore should work quietly to resolve outstanding issues rather than turn every disagreement into a public spat.” he said.
The official, who had served under Wisma Putra for many years talked to Free Malaysia Today anonymously. He said that Singapore’s recent behavior has been “needlessly provocative,” and alleged that Singapore was trying to destabilize the PH government.
He reminded FMT that PH dropped their claim to Pulau Batu Puteh in the International Court of Justice after the elections. “Clearly this was intended as a gesture of goodwill. It is unfortunate that Singapore continues to adopt a confrontational approach towards Malaysia.”
Bilahari Kausikan, a former Singaporean diplomat, said that Malaysia was using Singapore as a “bogeyman” to deflect from its own problems, saying in a Facebook post that these bilateral issues that had recently come to light again is “not an accident,” since aside from airspace and maritime territorial disputes, there had also been the issue of the crooked bridge to replace the Causeway, as well as the price of water sold to Singapore by Malaysia.
The former Malaysian ambassador who spoke to FMT pointed out that Singapore’s moves occur when Putrajaya is having to face “a host of pressing issues” ever since the former administration was toppled in the elections last May.
He claimed that the clash of words from the two governments concerning territorial disputes about the border near Johor is more due to changes in Singapore’s administration. Singapore announced yesterday that it would expand the port of Singapore off Tuas, which only served to heighten tensions between the two countries.
Earlier this week, Malaysia voiced its dissatisfaction with the new Instrument Landing System at Singapore’s Seletar Airport, which it claimed was entering Malaysia’s airspace.
The transport ministers of Malaysia and Singapore have been discussing these issues.
On Wednesday, the Foreign Affairs Minister of Singapore, Vivian Balakrishnan, called his counterpart in Malaysia to ask that the intrusions of certain ships from the Malaysian government be stopped.
Read related: Vivian Balakrishnan calls Malaysia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs about “urgent need” to stop intrusions into Singapore’s waters