Following bilateral issues with Malaysia over water, the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail, airspace and maritime boundaries, tension is high between the two nations. Many netizens from both countries have taken to social media to express their views. The consensus amongst Malaysians seems to be that Singapore is not the ‘bogeyman’, but that Malaysia needs to do better on its own fronts.
Malaysia’s Democratic Action Party (DAP) leader Lim Kit Siang said, “New Malaysia is a challenge to all Malaysians to make Malaysia a top world class nation to compete with the rest of the world and not a divided and fractured nation warring against itself”.
In an article published on Free Malaysia Today News, reader TK Chua expressed that “Malaysia doesn’t need to make a bogeyman out of Singapore”.
He said, “Malaysia and Singapore have many protracted issues. We should try to put those issues on the table for discussion and resolution based on mutual respect, bilateral agreements and international laws and conventions. It is Malaysia’s right to bring up the issues. It is for Singapore to prove that the issues being brought up are unfounded or unjustified.”
His article made references to former Singaporean diplomat Bilahari Kausikan’s comments, where the latter said in a Facebook post, “The new governing coalition is intrinsically unstable and held together by a 93 year old man. Political uncertainty in Malaysia inevitably leads to Singapore being used as a bogeyman to hold things together”.
TK Chua added, “To characterise the Malaysian government as intrinsically unstable is an insult. We do not need diversion or distraction to claim what is rightly Malaysia’s”.
“Maybe Malaysia was not so smart or competent in its dealings with Singapore in the past. Maybe we are now getting a little smarter and more competent”, he said.
Other Malaysian netizens have also echoed similar sentiments, and have called for Malaysia to step-up and to do better.