The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released a statement yesterday (10 Nov) saying that Malaysian PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be making an Official Visit to Singapore from Mon to Tue (12 to 13 Nov).
This is "at the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong", it said.
In addition, MFA also said that Dr Mahathir will meet President Halimah and PM Lee on Mon (12 Nov). Thereafter, he will be hosted to an official luncheon by PM Lee and Ho Ching.
An orchid will also be named after Dr Mahathir and his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah.
On Tue (13 Nov), it will be ESM Goh Chok Tong's turn to host yet another official luncheon for Dr Mahathir. It's not known if ESM Goh's wife, Mrs Goh, will also be co-hosting the luncheon.
Dr Mahathir will be conferred an Honorary Doctor of Laws by NUS on the same day, MFA said.
Netizens puzzled why only now NUS confers Honorary Doctorate for Dr M
Meanwhile, online, netizens are wondering why only now NUS would want to confer a Honorary Doctorate to Dr Mahathir.
One netizen said, "This is definitely tokenism at its worst and to think Tun M retired from politics after so long then NUS decides to confer a piece of paper on Tun M only after this second time election into PM office."
"Tun M is too polite to accept it for a man who was candid about him meeting with the almighty soon. Another paper or without, adds or subtract nothing to his pursue and name. I wish Tun M would 'politely' turn it down since it is truly an 'after-thought' of NUS. It’s honor served cold and moldy to Tun M." he added.
"Butter...not enough. In fact, at such a state of notoriety, I don't think anything done token or not, can put on significant braking on the 'down-hill slide' effect that is picking up momentum," said another, referring to the 'cooler' relationship persisting between Singapore and Malaysia ever since opposition coalition won the Malaysia GE this year.
Yet, another asked, "Why confer a piece of paper (to Dr Mahathir) at this time and not before when Najib in power?"
Indeed, it's a mystery why NUS did not confer the Honorary Doctorate to Dr Mahathir much earlier.