DAP supports Robert Kuok’s call that Malaysia and Singapore should try patching things up and proposes a joint committee of eminent Malaysians and Singaporeans headed by Robert Kuok to make recommendations to restore good bilateral relations between the two governments and countries which would be an example to ASEAN and the world
Media Conference Statement
- at the launch of the DAP’s 46th National Day Celebrations/Defend Secular Malaysia campaign at Serdang new village
by Lim Kit Siang
(Serdang, Monday): Recently, multi-billionaire Tan Sri Robert Kuok said Malaysia and Singapore should try patching things up, saying that the two nations still have to live like brothers in the next 100 or 200 years.
Speaking at a gathering at the Foo Chow Association in Singapore last Thursday, the 80-year-old 'Sugar King' said that the 'brotherly spirit' between Malaysia and Singapore had been on the wane since the two countries separated 38 years ago.
He said he was sure that things would be better if the two countries initiated moves to mend fences.
'Although I am a Malaysian citizen and an old friend of Singapore, I don't see any opportunity at this stage for me to volunteer the role of a peacemaker, not until things have calmed down between the two countries,' he said.
Commenting on cross-border relations, he said Malaysia is emotional in the way it dealt with the water, port and island issues.
Although both countries used to be brothers, things are not that rosy now.
'But in the coming 100 to 200 years, Singapore and Malaysia still need to remain siblings,' he said.
He said he was optimistic that things would work out between the two countries, and urged the Malaysian government not to be swayed by emotions in resolving problems with Singapore.
'The water supply issue, the port issue, the land reclamation and the many other problems between the two countries will be difficult to resolve if emotions get involved,' he said.
DAP supports Robert Kuok’s call that Malaysia and Singapore should try patching things up and proposes a joint committee of eminent Malaysians and Singaporeans headed by Robert Kuok to make recommendations to restore good bilateral relations between the two governments and countries which would be an example to ASEAN and the world.
The Parliaments of the two countries should set an example to pave the way for the mending of fences by both governments and countries instead of aggravating bilateral relations by indulging in the bashing of the neighbouring country.
Last week, Malaysian and Singaporean Members of Parliament attended the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization (AIPO) 24th General Assembly in Jakarta exuding and endorsing the “traditional ASEAN spirit of friendship, brotherhood and co-operation, in accordance with the concept of musyawarah (consultation) and ‘muafakat’ consensus”, (2003 Jakarta AIPO Joint Communique).
It does not reflect well on MPs from both Malaysia and Singapore that these noble professions of ASEAN spirit, unity and solidarity are only trotted out at regional and international conferences but are immediately forgotten on returning home to fight over bilateral differences to the extent that there is going to be a permanent monument of the failure of such good neighbourliness and ASEAN spirit in Malaysia-Singapore relations in the form of a RM1.1 billion “crooked half-bridge” to replace Malaysia’s part of the 80-year-old Johore-Singapore causeway!
As the recently-held AIPO Assembly in Jakarta had called on ASEAN member countries to focus on the two pillars of economic development and co-operation, Malaysian MPs in the 2004 budget debate beginning today should also respond to Robert Kuok’s call for the mending of fences between Malaysia and Singapore as well as the proposal for a joint committee of eminent Malaysians and Singaporeans headed by Robert Kuok to make recommendations as to how this could be achieved.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman