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(Image by Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock.com)

Malaysian politicians send conflicting signals to Singapore, but our own politicians confound and dumbfound their own citizens

One minute, the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail is called off, the next minute it is on again, subject to negotiation.

Same with water. They say they will abide by the water agreement, but two days later, they say no, the water price must be re-negotiated.

This is the style adopted by Malaysian politicians in their dealings with Singapore.

Maybe there is a method to the madness of sending one conflicting signal after another to Singapore.

But Singaporeans are subject to more than conflicting signals from our own politicians – we are confounded, dumbfounded and very much taken for a ride.

The politicians keep preaching about the dangers of inequality and elitism.

Public housing is exceptional and not a stigma, but where do they stay?

All neighbourhood schools are good enough so don’t get caught up with sending your children to elite and “branded” schools, they say. But where do they send their own children?

Education Minister One Ye Kung says a degree is not a must-have. Really? They why do their children pursue degrees to the hilt, often at prestigious American universities no less, and often on government scholarships too.

Not only is a degree optional, the Minister also says that a Singapore Prime Minister without a degree may happen in the near future.

And yet we have Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong saying that even those whose earning capacity is $500,000 a year are considered “very very mediocre people.”

Going by that yardstick, what would he call a person without a degree? Pathetic? Woeful? Wretched?

Just try and reconcile what they come up with. It would be impossible.

So let’s look at things in perspective.

At least the Malaysian politicians seek to confuse and befuddle their Singaporean counterparts.

But our own politicians set out to confound and dumbfound Singaporeans, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

They want to have their cake and eat it, they say one thing and do another.

Is it because they consider themselves a different class of people – too elitist, entitled and exalted to practise what they preach?