A “former dictator who wreaked so much damage” is what former PKR lawmaker Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar called Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in a recent talk with The Straits Times. A remark which was viewed as “unacceptable” by lawyer N. Surendran.
The statement was not just considered unacceptable in view of the swelling water agreement clash and the continuing grim territorial disagreements between the two countries, it was also viewed as an inopportune declaration that was uttered in the wrong platform and articulated the wrong way, this according to the former Padang Serai MP.
When asked by media why she was broken hearted, Nurul Izzah said that “it was not easy” to work with a “former dictator who wreaked so much damage, not just on our lives, but the system.”
The said statement referred to 1998, when Nurul Izzah’s father Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was forcibly incarcerated.
Currently, both Malaysia and Singapore foreign ministers’ viewpoints are still clashing on two major points that have caused open wrangling in recent months — the price Singapore pays Malaysia for fresh water, and the city state’s management of a small section of Malaysian airspace.
Malaysia’s Saifuddin Abdullah and his Singapore counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan said both countries have concurred to defer the execution of their overlapping port limits for now.
Subsequent to a meeting in Putrajaya, Malaysia, the ministers also declared in a joint statement that port limits in effect before October 25 and December 6 – when Malaysia and Singapore try to broaden their maritime boundaries – would apply.
Furthermore, no government crafts or containers will anchor in the area, business activities will be postponed and there will be no new transactions to be authorized. Likewise Malaysian and Singaporean vessels will operate in the area in accordance with international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The two governments will also establish a committee chaired by Malaysian foreign ministry secretary general Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob and Singaporean foreign ministry permanent secretary Chee Wee Kiong to ensure these recommendations are implemented within a month. Negotiations for maritime boundary delimitation in the area will commence within a month of that implementation.
If the committee is unable to reach a consensus on delimitation, the two nations can use an international third-party dispute settlement procedure.
With what Nurul Izzah has just expressed about the Malaysian PM, will it escalate the ongoing clash between the two countries? Can the remark be an indication that the former PKR MP is siding with Singapore? Or should it be considered just a statement of a ‘broken hearted’ daughter expressing sympathy to her father?
In whatever way the remark will be taken by all parties involved, one thing is definitely sure, it will thicken the plot around the current Singapore-Malaysia fall out.
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