The following is a letter from Tian Chua, Malaysian MP and Vice President of the People Justice Party, to the High Comissioner of Singapore
H.E. T Jasudasen
The Republic of Singapore
Greetings. The latest exposure in WikiLeaks has triggered a serious and alarming signal for Malaysia-Singapore relations. While I agree that the confidentiality of diplomatic correspondence must be respected, I also hold that a healthy friendship with neighbouring countries must be based on trust and mutual respect.
The cables released by WikiLeaks contain the opinions of Singapore’s senior politicians and diplomats. Their comments show, despite being our close neighbour, Singapore Government leaders view Malaysia with contempt and disdain. For example, Malaysian developmental decline was simplistically attributed to “incompetent” leadership. Besides the defamatory remark by Lee Kuan Yew that the Opposition Leader was “set-up”, Singapore’s Government senior leaders also described Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak as an “opportunist” and asserted that he was involved in a murder case.
These comments, coming from Singapore Government officials, were not expressed in private conversations or within a close circle. Instead, the cables revealed that Singapore’s political leaders and diplomats had been actively communicating such damaging remarks to the international community. From the nature of these communications, one can not help but to interpret that Singapore is actively engaging in a covert exercise to undermine Malaysia’s international standing. As a Malaysian, despite my differences with the ruling parties, I find it extremely offensive when a foreign government deliberately spreads unverified information to tarnish my country’s image.
For decades, Malaysia-Singapore relationship has been marred by suspicion and mistrust. I personally believe that there is room for improvement in the relationship between our two countries. We place high hope in professional diplomats to play an important role in promoting positive relations between countries.
But unfortunately, in spite of our proximity and long-term cross-border exchanges, Singapore diplomats have still failed to assess Malaysia accurately. It is particularly insulting when Singapore informs other countries that Malaysia was on the brink of ethnic riots, and Singapore risked having to face a flood of refugees of ethnic Chinese from Malaysia.
I believe I am not the only Malaysian who feels disturbed by the patronizing and arrogant attitude of Singapore’s leaders. I hereby, seek your clarification on the above-mentioned issues. I hope the Singapore High Commission on behalf of the Singapore Government will explain to the Malaysian public whether the opinions of its officials as revealed on WikiLeaks reflect the government’s official view on Malaysia.
Finally, I would like to reiterate that as a Malaysian Member of Parliament, I value a good relationship with our neighbour Singapore and have no intention to create a diplomatic brawl over the leaked information. However I seek an honest explanation so that our future relations can again be placed on a sound footing.
Vice President of the People’s Justice Party
Member of Parliament Malaysia [Batu]
14 December 2010