Home News Featured News Playright criticizes K. Shanmugam for biasedly interpreting Mahathir’s poem: “What really is...

Playright criticizes K. Shanmugam for biasedly interpreting Mahathir’s poem: “What really is the point of riling up Singaporeans in this way?”

"And I also don’t think Shanmugam is being fair by taking out two lines from Mahathir’s poem to suggest that Mahathir thinks that Singapore’s Malay character is lost, probably due to the minority status of the Malays," said Alfian Sa’at

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

, Minister for Law and Home Affairs, took to social media interpreting two lines of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s poem where he reveals the name of his new political party.

In a Facebook post, Mr Shanmugam wrote: “Two lines in the poem are interesting:

“Lihat Melayu negara jiran.

Melayu lagikah negara mereka?”

- Advertisement -

Meaning:

“Look at the Malays of the neighbouring country.

Is their country still Malay?””

And he added, “Wonder which country Dr Mahathir is referring to”.

Local writer, poet and playwright Alfian Sa’at jumped in on his own Facebook page and wrote: “I am always on alert when politicians start quoting extracts from a poem, so I looked at the original work. In the interest of a proper discussion I have translated it”.

Putting things into context, he added: “To answer Shanmugam’s question, the country that Mahathir is referring to is Singapore. There can be no doubt about it. However, it is clear when we read the whole work that what is being referred to here is the history of *Singapore being sold to the East India Company*”.

Mr Sa’at gave some background information on the historical events that took place and noted: “I don’t think Mahathir is being fair in using Sultan Hussein as an example of Malays being seduced by money.

And I also don’t think Shanmugam is being fair by taking out two lines from Mahathir’s poem to suggest that Mahathir thinks that Singapore’s Malay character is lost, probably due to the minority status of the Malays. Singapore stopped being a Malay country in 1824, when its sovereignty under the Malay Johor-Riau-Lingga empire was transferred to the EIC. This has nothing to do with a Chinese majority and everything to do with colonialism”.

Referring to the situation as “putting words together to suggest something more nefarious than it is”, Mr Sa’at clarified that Dr Mahathir meant “Fighting against corruption and kleptocracy. Not against Singapore. What really is the point of riling up Singaporeans in this way?”

“One gets an F for literature, and another gets an F for history”, he concluded.

Dr Mahathir, 95, announced the formation of a new political party last week but did not reveal a name.

The new party – which will be led by his son Mukhriz Mahathir as president and himself as chairman – is not aligned with either Pakatan Harapan (PH) or Perikatan Nasional (PN). /TISG

Please follow and like us:
Tweet
Share
- Advertisement -

Sexual harassment claim: NUS student says he did not receive proper help

Singapore -- A National University of Singapore (NUS) student, formerly from Tembusu College, has written a lengthy social media post not only about how he was sexually harassed by a former student tutor but also about how, when he tried to...

Biden will be nicer to China than Trump

Joseph Biden, the presumptive next US President, will be friendlier to China than US President Donald Trump, judging by Biden’s statements and cabinet selections. Biden’s more harmonious posture towards China will please leaders of various Asian countries including Singapore Prime Minister...

K Shanmugam: In Singapore, the right to speak freely goes with the duty to act responsibly

Singapore—Speaking at the 16th Religious Rehabilitation Group Seminar at Khadijah Mosque on Monday (Nov 24), K Shanmugam, the Minister for Law and Home Affairs, said that the threat of terrorism has not gone away though its “shape and nature” have changed. Citing...
Please follow and like us:
Tweet
Share
Follow Me
Tweet