Even though a supreme council member of Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad’s party, has said that Singapore will get “pain by a thousand cuts” for its position on the maritime dispute with Malaysia, Ho Ching has replied rather coolly on Facebook.
The Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Holdings and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s wife took on Dr Rais Hussin, who is the head of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM) policy and strategy bureau. Dr Rais said that said that Singapore will get “pain by a thousand cuts” for its position on the maritime dispute with Malaysia, and that the Republic will gain nothing “by hardening its stance” against its neighbour.
In response, Ho Ching shared an article by TODAY, and casually remarked, “Chill, man”.
This was rather unusual as while the head of Temasek is very active on the social media platform, she rarely adds comments to the posts she shares.
In a piece published on Malaysian media sites, Dr Rais added that Singapore needed to “smarten up”.
He said, “It helps not to turn a spat into a spar. Because then what? Fight and tear at each other’s faces? Everyone knows that wars are meant to make orphans of children”.
Retired Singaporean Diplomat Bilahari Kausikan also commented on the article by TODAY, and said that Dr Rais’ reaction was very typical. He wrote, “Very typical — what they expect is subordination of our interests to their interests”.
“They have not given up, and never will, trying to tame or domesticate (menjinakan) Singapore, because unless they do so, the intrinsic short-comings of a system based on the dominance of a particular race will be highlighted, particularly since we do better with a different system”.
He ended his post saying that Singapore should not concede to her neighbour’s demands, that, “if we accept a subordinate position, can we prosper? Is existence by the leave and favour of some other country acceptable? That is what this character’s demands amount to”.
“This is the essential reason why a small country should never behave as a small country, that is behave in a way bigger neighbours demand”, Mr Kausikan said.