A huge backlash has arisen following Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad’s meeting with Singaporean exile Tan Wah Piow, historian Thum Ping-tjin and activists Jolovan Wham, Sonny Liew and Kirsten Han.
Many Singaporeans have taken to Facebook to express their anger and betrayal at the meeting, and at the events that followed.
After their meeting with Dr Mahathir, PJ Thum and former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Teo Soh Lung took to Facebook to express their sentiments and were also harshly called out by netizens, MPs and Ministers.
Member of Parliament Seah Kian Peng said on Facebook that the group met Mahathir to “invite Dr M to bring democracy to Singapore, and suggest that Singapore is part of Malaya.”
In reference to Teo Soh Lung’s facebook post, he later added, “Separately, in a comment on a TOC video post, Teo Soh Lung said that “Singapore is part of Malaya la”. Really? This is what PJ Thum and Teo Soh Lung and the SDP believe in their heart of hearts? (Note she says “Malaya”, not “Malaysia”. This was what the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) maintained – that Malaysia was an imperialist plot, and Singapore’s separation and independence was a sham.)”.
The day after the meeting, August 31, Malaysia’s “national day”, PJ Thum extended his wishes to Malaysia as, “Selamat Hari Merdeka to the people of the former Federation of Malaya”, and suggested that Singaporeans should also rejoice on that day since it was Singapore’s “unofficial independence day”.
Netizens took to Facebook and called both PJ Thum and Teo Soh Lung out, saying, “Why do Singapore’s useless opposition always sell out Singapore to foreign interest?”
They also added, “These people need to learn from Mr Chiam See Tong: “above all, in the opposition, we must be good patriotic Singaporeans. We must not go around the world denouncing Singapore!”
Many Singaporeans also felt misrepresented by the few who met Dr Mahathir during the 80-minute meeting.