Is Singapore unleashing a retired diplomat against Mahathir while the leaders remain on the sidelines?

Dr Mahathir Mohamad is living up to what he said many years ago: “We can skin a cat in many ways. To skin Singapore, there is not just one method.”

In his second stint as Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir has wasted no time to try and ruffle feathers.

His remarks that “the people of Singapore, like the people of Malaysia, must be tired of having the same government, the same party since independence,” was only for starters.

He also called off the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail project arbitrarily. And now he has revived talk of renegotiating the water agreement with the Singapore government.

Deja vu! A leopard never changes it spots!

The surprising part is that it took a retired diplomat to put Dr Mahathir in his place. Former ambassador-at-large Bilahari Kausikan, who retired last month, wrote on his Facebook page that Dr Mahathir was only raising the water issue as a tactic to seek waiver or reduction of compensation for cancelling the high-speed rail project.

Kausikan added: “His intention is to make the Singapore government look unreasonable hoping, first, that Singaporeans will pressure our government on his behalf, and, second, to set up an alibi with his own people. All this is out of Dr M’s standard play-book. Singaporeans should not be deceived. Good neighbourliness ought to be a two-way street.”

This is trademark Kausikan, who is known for speaking his mind and for his knack for ruffling feathers.

But since he is retired, what capacity is he speaking from? Does he have the blessings of the Singapore government to call out Dr Mahathir?

Bloomberg reported that it wanted a response from the Singapore side to Dr Mahathir’s comments but calls to the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources went unanswered.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has since issued a statement, saying that “the 1962 Water Agreement is a fundamental agreement that was guaranteed by both governments in the 1965 Separation Agreement which was registered with the UN.  Both sides must comply fully with all the provisions of these agreements.”

The bottomline: If a retired diplomat is used as an “attack dog” against Dr Mahathir, what does it say about the current leadership?

The strategy of letting things simmer down and take its course is no longer relevant because the soon-to-be 93-year-old Dr Mahathir is a man in a hurry and the 24-hour news and social media cycle suits him just fine.

Dr Mahathir has the backing of his countrymen and women because he is seen as a saviour who can do no wrong – at least for now.

Unless our leaders show their mettle and resolve, and their agility and speed of communication, Dr Mahathir will dominate the news cycle. He will continuously send signals and messages not only to Malaysians but also to Singaporeans.

In short, Singaporeans need to hear from our leaders – and not just from a retired diplomat who as Singapore’s ambassador-at-large predicted in a commentary for The Straits Times on Oct 6 2015 that the“Pakatan Harapan – a coalition of the DAP, Keadilan and a minor breakaway faction from PAS, is a forlorn hope (pun intended).”

Augustine Low

* The author is a proud but concerned citizen. Voicing independent, unplugged opinion is his contribution to citizen engagement.

 

 

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24 Responses to “Is Singapore unleashing a retired diplomat against Mahathir while the leaders remain on the sidelines?”

  • HarderTruths:

    Pappy fools only know how to talk and talk. No doubt ordered by the familee.

    $G leeders better know how to work with other countries. Just because Trump sat his big behind on Sentosa does not mean $G can ‘take on’ MY or other nations.

    Remember $G’s limits as a very small island and act accordingly.

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  • BillyMa:

    There’s no need to be too concerned on what this old ah mat really.
    Just wait at most another 2 years, things will be back to normal.

    Meanwhile just watch his comic show unfold.

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  • Brainwashed by IOS and Android:

    pappy lapdogs following their masters orders…

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  • I'm Halimah also Jiak Liao bee:

    Where are all those Paper General who talk cock sing song only when they are seen to be in a position of power.
    Now that have an adversary in the Tun who calls the tune, and they’re all quiet , not a squeak.
    So called 4G LEEders ??? pui.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    I just love to hear something from any ex-Malaysian PAP Ministers and MPs. Or are they just waiting and watching what the Malaysia PM could do to the Singapore PM.

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  • Bodohland gov nil substance:

    70% voted in a coward gov.
    Clever to talk big n use bombastic words plus bully own citizens but when stronger parties talk back they diam diam run and hide.

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  • Chris Bong:

    Mahathir may be doing Lee Hsien Loong a great favour because he is uniting Singaporeans under PAP. Hopefully Singaporeans is aware that being patriotic to the country is different from being loyal to PAP.

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  • Anonymous incognito:

    Of course he does. Look this is a 2 pronged attack
    1) the govt wants to sanction the Malyasians for daring to disrupt the cozy relations between the original parties.
    2) to sternly warn Singaporeans not to do the same

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  • N.Jungne:

    Aiyah he is doing the work as to what the name suggested. 4 Goondhus meeting old friends in China, paving the way for Lau Nai-mai and Lau Ye-ye next visit.

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  • Stand up for Sg:

    Hmmm…. So called 4Gs are so quiet as church mice.

    More like a bunxh of G strings.

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  • Hi stupid:

    BillyMa:
    There’s no need to be too concerned on what this old ah mat really.
    Just wait at most another 2 years, things will be back to normal.

    Meanwhile just watch his comic show unfold.

    If you’re not worried about Mahathir then why are you here?

    At least he has the courage to show his face when making statements unlike you.

    Get lost IB!

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  • Bapak:

    They are practicing humility, that’s why keeping very quiet.

    During his old man times, when M’sia wanted to cut water the then Defense Minister (KFC guy) gathered all business leaders and foreign embassies to inform should M’sia really cut water, Singapore Army will walk in. Within one hour, SG will take over the whole of Johore and within half a day will reach KL. After that M’sia kept quiet.

    This Clown? No sound no shadow! Maybe hiding under the skirt. Better change government.

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  • Tuck Wan:

    Any comment from ‘Kris-ass’
    - another ‘Ambassador-at-large’

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  • C'est la vie:

    *****
    ………. “it took a retired diplomat to put Dr Mahathir in his place” …….. how in the hell did Augustine Low come to that conclusion !!!

    Dr M did not even see fit to respond to the retired shit-stirrer !!!

    So there !!!
    ***
    *****

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    Former ambassador-at-large & retiree Bilahari Kausikan had constantly put himself in the spotlight eversince in July 2017, Kausikan had publicly criticised an opinion-editorial by Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Kishore Mahbubani for advocating “subordination as a norm of Singapore foreign policy”. His criticism was echoed by Minister of Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam and fellow Ambassador-at-Large Ong Keng Yong.
    This article by Dr. Mahbubani came right after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wasn’t invited to the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Forum in May 2017 – where 29 countries leaders attended an important two-day event in Beijing except for S’pore.
    China’s One Belt, One Road initiative could have significant adverse implications for Singapore.
    Notably, trade routes across the region could change as a result of OBOR projects, perhaps undermining trade flows through Singapore. The exclusion of Prime Minister Lee could be linked to soured diplomatic relations with China, the world’s second largest economy.
    Look & behold, when one takes a good look at China’s OBOR blueprint, S’pore is deliberately excluded from China’s trade flows. A series of cross-link (oil & gas) offshore platform-refinery-pipelines from Myanmar to Yunnan & ports-rail bridge across West-to East Peninsula M’sia that takes S’pore out of China’s trade equation.
    Dr Mahbubani had lost for speaking out the truth when he opted for early retirement from his academic position just 4 months after he wrote “Qatar: Big lessons from a small country” – he said pointedly that an eternal rule of geopolitics is that “small states must behave like small states”. S’pore didn’t do that & as a result, incurred the wrath of China.
    In short, S’pore under the PAP is intolerant of criticism & of stating obvious facts. The PAP cultivates a poisonous eco-system where everyone must follow the official agenda/stance or risk losing both status & monetary rewards otherwise. The PAP had created an obvious environment where people can say ‘A donkey is a horse’ or ‘Black is white & vice-versa’ & be amply rewarded for such compliance & conformity. It’s a road down to MEDIOCRITY & POOR JUDGEMENT.
    Bilahari Kausikan had predicted in a commentary for The Straits Times on Oct 6 2015 that the “Pakatan Harapan – a coalition of the DAP, Keadilan and a minor breakaway faction from PAS, is a forlorn hope (pun intended).” In 2018, he was proven exceptionally wrong after Pakatan Harapan won the elections ousting incumbent UMNO, a corrupt, obsolete politically spent force just like the PAP. A change is urgently required.

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    Hard to believe that even during LKY’s period, he (thru KFC guy) would advocate a war with M’sia over water. The numbers don’t lie (M’sia’s 28 million population vs S’pore’s then 4 million). It’s a mismatch of epic proportions. Besides, the M’sian army had lots of experience fighting the communist insurgents in the northern borders with Thailand. S’pore SAF had none – a minute peace-time defense force of conscripts & volunteers. Besides, S’pore is a Chinese oasis in a region where Muslims predominate & would close ranks if threatened. We’re surrounded by over 300 million Muslims all around & you think we could exert military might over them. Don’t let PAP propaganda fool you! They have been fooling S’poreans eversince they came into power.

    Bapak:
    They are practicing humility, that’s why keeping very quiet.
    During his old man times, when M’sia wanted to cut water the then Defense Minister (KFC guy) gathered all business leaders and foreign embassies to inform should M’sia really cut water, Singapore Army will walk in. Within one hour, SG will take over the whole of Johore and within half a day will reach KL. After that M’sia kept quiet.
    This Clown? No sound no shadow! Maybe hiding under the skirt. Better change government.

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  • Bystander:

    Kudos to Mahathir, the one who put Ah Loong in his place.
    As for the stupid ass big mouth, kausihan, ignore the old pig, just trying to get noticed, wanna steal into Parliament to earn big bucks.
    Actually this old pig

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  • Talk Show with Siblings:

    Yeap! 2 years, sufficient enough. As I requested, Dr.M should help Sinkies out from the devil evil clutches by hosting and airing awakening talk shows with the siblings during the most critical timing. Daily on a round robin non stop broadcasting assaults format including Song by Namewee, dumpling soda etc…

    But mass assembly of artillery near the Johor Border would be too much, scare the shits out of everyone.

    But recently, I noticed, HDB rooftop antennae are changed to digital line, don’t know if it will affect reception. So please host on radio channels as well, since radio are easily available and don’t belong to HDB.

    Thank you Dr.M from Sinkies.

    Oh btw, the artillery thought is in case Malaysia Supreme Air Channels are interrupted.

    What you think?

    BillyMa:
    There’s no need to be too concerned on what this old ah mat really.
    Just wait at most another 2 years, things will be back to normal.

    Meanwhile just watch his comic show unfold.

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  • yalumba kasa bubu:

    it’s common knowledge ah pa suffered many many sleepless nights because of this wily master statesman, kuniang cannot cast a shadow in the sun next to ah pa, you think he can “tong” the tun? you must be choking! so send retired brown noser to stir shit lah. it’s all gonna be in vain. tun got many many tricks up his kain songket. he will play them all like a fiddle. one by one all day long. stay tuned folks.

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  • Equality Was Stealthily Remove:

    Likely an attack puppy,sent by shit MIW. Or instigator just out
    to attack in order to curry favor for an appointment in time to come.
    A very lucratic apptment likely.

    And yes, it was a total embarrassment to say what he said about
    Pakatan Harapan. Wonder where his face and pride is now?

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  • Greedy Evil And Useless:

    The PAP has created a huge mess of this country already.
    Ask that chobolan puppy with CB mouth not to create more troubles for hardworking sinkies.

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  • rukidding:

    Pappy only knows how to “bully” and “abuse” it own people !

    Current Pappy Leeders are all “just interested” in getting themselves into the limelight of an “orgy party” where they all “masturbate, self praise and pat each other , maybe even jerk each other ” ?

    Look at how “quiet” all those Pappy MPs are ,…where non dare say anything of our neighbours ???

    Even the TOP.TOP. at the TOP ,…miracle change from Indian to Malay also “no sound no picture” ????

    What a let down :( indeed !

    I guess we are “checkmate” already !

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  • Don't blame other:

    When u have a shit govt with only greed hanger to be filled at the expence of the nationals n has no qualm to sell the country to hungry. greedy foreigners to ward away what another scumbag called the noises of the environment, don’t blame other for grabbing the opportunity to dwarf the arrogant biws who know how to pamper up to shitheads at the expense of the hands that feed them.

    If the spineless who betrayed the people trust for reaons only his family would know succumbed to seat warm for someone not fit for the job remain passive when opportunity presents itself for him to salvate himself bit pathetically too balless to pick it up. What happen to the three ocassional big mouths but substanceless to carry thru at such opportune time. It is pathetic to see human aren’t human but prefer to be head shrinking turtle. Even a turtle knows time to put out its heads.

    A word for the other parties. It is time to get the talents they need together n draw up a manifesto ready to take over n rid off the nfi greedy politically made billionaires n replaces the harem of plps ready for cleaning up the 5 decade of opaque operation. Patching out of fear shows the inherent inadequacies of these greedy biws.

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  • Bobo:

    Better get KBW and LBH, our threshold to invite Dr M for a meeting to smoothen any frictions. JT is also very good with comparison in $ and cents and HSK is good at water hike price agreement. We have the world’s most powerful MOL who is good at diallowing further arguements and 80+ of hand raisers.

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