A Kadir Jasin
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THIS is address to the Singaporeans. Malaysians and others are, of course, not prohibited from reading and responding, but the priority is to the Singaporeans.
I mean those Singaporeans who are members and supporters of the People’s Action Party. Yes, those of you who gave 66.6 per cent of the votes to the PAP in last year’s general elections. Thank to your votes, the PAP won 45 out of 47 contested seats.
And those of you who are not members and supporters of the PAP. Yes I mean those of you who gave 33.3 per cent of the votes to the Oppositions. Thanks to your votes, the Oppositions won two out of 47 contested seats.
Even those who are neither members nor supporters of the PAP and the Opposition are also invited.
By this I mean the ordinary Singaporeans who loyally serve in the National Service and who believe that Malaysia is the number one threat.
The ordinary Singaporeans who enjoy crossing the congested Causeway to buy cheap petrol in Johor Baru – cheap by way of exchange rates as well as purchasing power parity (PPP).
And I am not discriminating against those fiendish Singapore drivers who charge down the North-South Highway in their super fast Subaru Impreza WRX STI Type C as if traffic rules and regulations don’t apply to them.
To them, I say thank you for visiting Johor Baru, which according their great Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was the “murder capital of the world”.
Thank you for visiting Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi. Temenggor Dam and Kuantan. Thank you for patronising the famous Port Klang "pork bone tea" aka bak kut teh restaurants.
Most of all, I am thanking you for not swallowing hook line and sinker what Mr Lee tells you about big bad Malaysia. Had they listened to him, they would not have come to Malaysia.
Malaysia may not practice the Singapore version of meritocracy. Then again, even in Singapore not everybody enjoys the same degree of equality. Some are more equal than others. But I won’t dwell into that because I know you know your country better.
I know you keep coming to Malaysia because you feel pretty much at home in Malaysia. The bak kut teh sellers are not the “favoured” Bumiputeras. They are the Teochews, Hokkiens and Cantonese. Of course they are Malaysian Teochews, Hokkiens and Cantonese.
Eating and selling pork are haram for the Muslims. So the Bumiputera, the majority of whom are Muslims, are automatically excluded from that business. So is gaming and alcoholic beverages.
Pig rearing, gambling and alcoholic beverages are important business activities in Malaysia. Pig farmers are so powerful that they could force the Malacca state authorities to back down.
Malaysian leaders may, from time to time, proclaim Malaysia to be an Islamic state. But that does not stop the government from issuing lucrative gambling franchises to Malaysian Chinese and Indians.
They are so big and successful that they are now setting up shops in Singapore. Soon you no longer have to travel to Genting to gamble. You can just have to walk across to Sentosa Island.
When you’re tired of racing your Mercedes S Class and BMW 6-Series on our highways and have had enough of the Klang bah kut teh, you know you can check into one of our many world-class hotels, which incidentally are very rarely owned by the “favoured” Bumiputera.
So why am I saying this and why am I being extremely nice to you? Because I want you be totally aware that not everything Mr Lee tells you about Malaysia is true.
Most off all, I want to assure you that whatever we do – good, bad or indifferent – is not intended to coax Mr Lee to rejoin Malaysia.
We have no intention of inviting Singapore back nor are we about to consider remarrying Singapore even if Mr Lee is suffering an extended case of “gila talak” – longing to be reunited with one’s former husband or wife.
After 42 years of divorce, we have grown fond of living without Mr Lee as our strange bedfellow. Two years of living Mr Lee is quite enough.
I am sure very few of you would want Singapore to be part of Malaysia again. Singapore is wealthy. It’s clean and is doing well. Why bother rejoining the poorer Malaysia?
Why should you want to lose the pleasure of going to a foreign country to buy cheap petrol, eat bah kut teh to your hearts’ contend and race your Mitsubishi Evolution X without the fear of losing your driving licences?
Please do me a favour. Please help Mr Lee overcome the “gila talak” syndrome and tell him to stop meddling in Malaysia's domestic affairs.
We don't need him to lecture us and he should accept the fact that he "lost" Malaysia way back in 1965 .
[Footnote, Oct. 17]
Malaysia’s Press Freedom Index took a dive this year, falling from number 92 last year to 124 out of 169 countries surveyed by the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders.
The Non-Governmental Organisation cited the harsh action against bloggers and news websites as one of the reasons for Malaysia’s falling ranking.
“In Malaysia (124th), Thailand (135th), Vietnam (162nd) and Egypt (146th), for example, bloggers were arrested and news websites were closed or made inaccessible,” it noted.
Malaysia ranking’s stood at number 104 in 2003, 122 in 2004, 113 in 2005 and 92 in 2006.
This year Malaysia lies below Indonesia (100) but ahead of Philippines (128), Thailand (135), Singapore (141) and China (163). Iceland, Norway and Estonia are at the top. The US occupies the number 48 position after the UK (24), France (31) and Japan (32).