Saturday 15 December 2018
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todayonline - 8 days ago

Sibling rivalry normal, will help growth, says Dr M as he repeats bigger twin comment

PUTRAJAYA — Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad once again likened Singapore as its younger and smaller twin in a Facebook post on Thursday evening (Dec 7). In the short post, Dr Mahathir said: Malaysia and Singapore are like twins, except maybe the elder twin is a little bit bigger than the younger one. The 93-year-old added: As with most countries, there will be differences and there will be competition between us. However it will help us grow even faster. On the same day, Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced the extension of its port limits off Tuas in view of recent “provocative developments” by Malaysia. On Thursday, Mr Khaw revealed that there have been 14 intrusions by Malaysian vessels into Singapore territorial waters off Tuas over the last few weeks, in what he called “blatant provocation and a serious violation of our sovereignty and international law”. Mr Khaw said that Singapore’s security agencies will continue patrols in the area and respond to unauthorised activities. So far, they have responded “with restraint” against the aggressive actions of Malaysian government vessels, Mr Khaw added. My main message today is... Back off. Leave our waters while we pursue sit-down dialogues and try to resolve it. Dr Mahathir had first used the same twins analogy when he was here on an official visit in November. He added that bilateral relations have been reasonably harmonious , and stressed the need for healthy competition between the two neighbours. In his Facebook post on Thursday, Dr Mahathir also thank Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for hosting him at the Asean Summit in Singapore on Nov 12. The sibling analogy had also been cited by founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, in his 2000 memoirs From Third World to First, who spoke about how Malaysian politicians wanted independent Singapore “to be obliging and accommodating” in an abang-adik (big brother-little brother) relationship — “with little brother giving way graciously” to Malaysian interests. Mr Lee added: When non-vital interests were at stake, we were prepared to humour abang, but not when adik had legitimate interests to defend.

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