Singapore Government Launch Anti-Mahathir Campaign - Former Associate Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School - The Coverage

Singapore Government Launch Anti-Mahathir Campaign – Former Associate Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School

Worried that Malaysia’s progress may influence Singaporean workers to remove the PAP dictatorship, the Singapore government launched an anti-Mahathir campaign. PAP-paid online pages are now attacking the new Malaysian government alleging that the Malaysia Ministers are corrupted, and that a 10% pay cut would only worsen their corruption.

According to the former dean of Lee Kuan Yew School of Public policy, Singaporean academic Donald Low, it is natural that the PAP government is criticising the new Malaysian government because of the 180 degree narrative in governance:

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“Ultimately though, I think the reason many pro-Establishment people want to see the Mahathir government fail is that they seem to be doing everything that our Establishment says cannot or should not be done, eg GST abolition (which I also think is a bad idea; I think it should be reformed not removed), review of repressive laws (like the anti-fake news law that was recently passed, the Printing Presses Act, Sedition Act, etc.), a clearer separation of powers between different branches, etc. In other words, the reason many here would like to see the new Malaysian government fail is that its success would cause them cognitive dissonance and discomfort. So to preserve the coherence and consistency of their worldview, they are willing to put Singapore-Malaysia relations at risk.”

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In recent weeks, the Malaysian government took swift actions against former dictator Najib Razak for siphoning state funds, and implemented a number of progressive policies including removing GST, reducing Ministerial salaries by 10%, releasing formerly-restricted public accounts (revealing a 1 trillion RMB debt), relinquishing government control over the mainstream media and releasing political prisoners.

The change however is not welcomed by the Singapore dictatorship, whose Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is the best friend of former Malaysian PM Najib Razak. The Singapore PAP government is now threatened by the possible withdrawal of the High Speed Rail, Johor-Singapore MRT link and a review of the water supply contract and the revival of the high-bridge Causeway idea proposed by Mahathir when he was Prime Minister 15 years ago.

Source : Straight Times

Singaporean Donald Low questions anti-Mahathir sentiment in Singapore, argues that Mahathir’s success would be good for the country

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Former Associate Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy(LKYSPP), Donald Low wrote a well-received and much shared post on Facebook questioning the sentiment that many pro-establishment Singaporeans have that’s antagonistic toward the newly-elected Mahathir government, to the point that they are eager to see its failure.

The current Advisor to Executive Education at LKYSPP, Mr. Low, surmised that this sentiment was due to the perception that in the past, when Dr. Mahathir was Prime Minister of Malaysia, he “wasn’t very friendly to Singapore” and that he questioned certain projects. The assumption is that behind this attitude was “a desire to do Singapore in. So the argument, as far as I can make out, is that we should want him and his government to fail so that they are less able to hurt us.”

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Mr. Low then argueed why the opposite sentiment toward Dr. Mahathir would be beneficial towards Singapore. If Malaysia is governed well and becomes stable, it is better for Singapore. And if Mr. Najib had won, Singapore would have suffered.

It is still too early to tell if Dr. Mahathir can bring Malaysia into a post-racial future, but should the Malaysian government have been ruled by a BN and PAS alliance, the result “would have been a mono-ethnic government,” according to Mr. Low, that would have had ill effects, since divisive policies would have spread from Malaysia to Singapore.

With Dr. Mahathir at the helm, this is more improbable. Mr. Low points out that the new government is multi-ethic “with at least a post-racial rhetoric (if, not yet, reality)” that “is surely a plus for Singapore,” even if root issues that bring about real change are not yet addressed.

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Concerning the perception that Mr. Najib was friendly towards Singapore while Dr. Mahathir wasn’t, Mr. Low called this “mostly rubbish and reflects a naive, even childish, ignorance about international relations.” He argues the proverb that concerning international relations, “there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests.”

What Singapore needs to do is to keep relations with Malaysia, its closest neighbor, that are well-balanced and will be advantageous to both nations. This is more likely to happen if Malaysia succeeds under Dr. Mahathir’s rule. There is no benefit for Singapore if Malaysia’s new leadership fails. Neither is there benefit if Singaporeans remain nostalgic over Mr. Najib.

Mr. Low wrote, “There’s very little room for sentimentality or nostalgia in IR. Incidentally, on my recent road trip, I found the Najib (and Rosmah) brand to be incredibly toxic, and that this sentiment cut across ethnic lines.”

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He then called out certain sites that are pro-establishment for featuring what he deemed unguarded and unwise comments about the Mahathir government. He cautioned against antagonizing Dr. Mahathir, comparing him to Singapore’s Lee Kwan Yew, in the sense of his deep-seated nationalism in putting his country above everything else. If Dr. Mahathir is provoked, he may turn out to be unyielding and quarrelsome, which would make Singapore’s relations with Malaysia difficult.

Mr. Low ended his post with speculation that the real reason why some in the pro-establishment faction do not want to see Dr. Mahathir and his government succeed is that the Mahathir government is carrying out reforms that they themselves are declaring to be impossible, such as the abolition of the GST, a more distinct separation of powers among the branches of government, and reviewing repressive laws such as the Sedition Act, the recently passed anti fake-news law, and others.

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To put it plainly, if the Mahathir government succeeds, this would be against what the pro-establishment faction dearly believe in and cause them no small amount of discomfort.

Mr. Low then asked, “So to preserve the coherence and consistency of their worldview, they are willing to put Singapore-Malaysia relations at risk. So who’s being reckless and dangerous now?”

Source : Independent

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  1. Norman Wee

    May 28, 2018 at 10:52

    Since Dr Mahathir is but only seat warmer, isn’t it futile to engage in such negativity? Don’t forget Anwar, the PM in waiting, has many axes to grind. So by jumping the gun, is that smart?

  2. MohdFauzi

    May 30, 2018 at 08:10

    Mahathir Is Moving For The Kill – Scraps RM110 Billion HSR Project, And There’s Nothing Singapore Can Do

    Let’s continue our story about how Singapore, supposedly a clean and incorruptible nation, secretly helped ex-PM Najib Razak during the peak of the 1MDB scandal. The plausible possibility that the Government of Singapore was the “hidden hand” behind the blackmailing of Swiss national Xavier Andre Justo to change his story has since gotten The Straits Times extremely worry.

    As the world’s 3rd top financial centre (behind London and New York), it’s an insult to the peoples’ intelligence that Singapore didn’t know the documents supplied by 1MDB relating to its Brazen Sky Limited account were false bank statements. The Monetary Authority of Singapore knew that Arul Kanda was bullshitting when he claimed US$1.103 billion cash was kept at BSI Bank Limited, Singapore.

    Besides the United States, Switzerland and Luxembourg, it’s believed that Najib and his wife Rosmah keep their ill-gotten money in Singapore as well. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong loved Najib simply because such corrupted Malaysian leader can be easily manipulated and controlled. As a financial centre, Singapore does not discriminate against dirty or laundered money.

    The Singapore-Kuala Lumpur 350-km high-speed rail (HSR) link project which had been inked in 2016 under the previous PM Najib Razak was inflated to include kickbacks. As revealed by newly installed Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, the project was designed in such a way that Malaysia will be penalised close to RM500 million if they withdraw from it.

    In actuality, Singapore doesn’t need the HSR project. After all, more than 90% of the railroad will be on Malaysian soil. It’s amazing that Singapore gets to pocket half a billion ringgit in the event the contract is cancelled considering the island’s involvement is less than 10%.
    Consider this – the 688-km East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project costs RM55 billion but the shorter 350-km HSR project will cost RM110 billion.

    Obviously, something is fishy when it costs almost double for a shorter railway project. Shouldn’t China be awarded the HSR project since they could build it at half the price, or 50% discount? It appears that Singapore could have benefited massively from the high-speed rail project, possibly even kickbacks, after the “hidden hand” blackmailed Xavier Andre Justo to change his story.
    Najib Razak and Lee Hsien Loong – Sharing Durian
    Unfortunately, both Najib Razak and Lee Hsien Loong, as they happily scratching each other’s back, didn’t anticipate that the 93-year-old Mahathir Mohamad could unseat the Barisan Nasional coalition government after being in power for 61 years since independence in 1957. All hell breaks loose when Pakatan Harapan coalition made a stunning victory.

    In normal circumstances, Mahathir should be the one flying to Singapore begging PM Lee Hsien Loong to cancel, or at least reconsider, the RM110 billion HSR project. Instead, it was the panicked Mr. Lee who flew to Malaysia to meet Mr. Mahathir. Even then, the Singaporean prime minister was given a short 30 minutes for the meeting, before the humiliated PM Lee left Mahathir’s office.

    Lee Hsien Loong wanted to talk about HSR with Mahathir, but the Malaysian leader simply told him that HSR will be scrapped, one way or another. With tail between legs, the Singaporean leader left. Today (Monday, May 28th), Mahathir unilaterally announced to the world that Malaysia will scrap the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project.
    Singapore Lee Hsien Loong Visits Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad
    Mahathir said – “It is a final decision, but it will take time because we have an agreement with Singapore. It’s not beneficial. It’s going to cost us a huge sum of money.
    We’ll make no money at all from this arrangement. It is only a short track. It is only going to save people one hour by taking the HSR.”

    To lose RM500 million in penalty for cancelling the project is better than to spend RM110 billion on a mega-project which is doomed to fail. The ticket price for the HSR trip will be too expensive for ordinary Malaysians. However, based on Mahathir’s track record, he is not going to bend over and flash half a billion of ringgit to Lee Hsien Loong without a fight.

    If Mahathir had previously given Lee Kuan Yew a run for his money, chances are the old man is going to do the same to his son now. The Malaysian prime minister has already hinted that his administration will haggle – and most likely drag his feet – about the final compensation figures for Singapore.
    Malaysia-Singapore HSR – High Speed Railway
    Heck, Mahathir might even just offer Hsien Loong a small token of compensation for cancelling the project, and there’s nothing Singapore can do about it. Will Singapore drag Malaysia to the international court and in the process spill the beans about how the unfavourable terms were made between scandal-plagued Najib Razak and his Singapore buddy?

    Hsien Loong is easy meat to Mahathir. When push comes to shove, Malaysia can easily threaten Singapore over its national security – by allowing China to deploy its radar surveillance and missile system in Johor, essentially spying on the little island. Last year, Beijing offered AR3 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) to be positioned in Johor, Malaysia.

    Conventional wisdom says it would be wise for Singapore to forget about insisting on the RM500 million penalties, in the interest of maintaining
    good relationship between both countries. It’s better for Mahathir to owe Lee Hsien Loong a favour than to start a confrontation. Singapore’s reputation will be at stake if the country is openly mentioned as the “hidden hand” behind Justo blackmail in Thailand.

    – Finance Twitter

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