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DAP’s Tony Pua slams S’pore as a mercenary, friend-less nation

KUALA LUMPUR — The verbal sparring between Malaysia’s opposition lawmaker Tony Pua and Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large Bilahari Kausikan over whether Malaysian Chinese are delusional in trying to change the political system escalated today (Oct 9), after Mr Pua lashed out at Singapore, calling the Republic a “mercenary prick”.

Mr Tony Pua. Photo: Malay Mail Online

Mr Tony Pua. Photo: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR — The verbal sparring between Malaysia’s opposition lawmaker Tony Pua and Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large Bilahari Kausikan over whether Malaysian Chinese are delusional in trying to change the political system escalated today (Oct 9), after Mr Pua lashed out at Singapore, calling the Republic a “mercenary prick”.

“He did Singapore no favour by cementing the perception of his country as the mercenary prick of Southeast Asia … And they wonder why they have no friends,” the Democratic Action Party (DAP) lawmaker wrote on Facebook today. “I don’t care much if this was the view of some academic or armchair critic. But as the Ambassador-at-large, Mr Bilahari is a spokesman for Singapore.”

In a commentary published on Tuesday, Mr Kausikan had argued that Malaysia’s Chinese youth have forgotten the lessons from the 1969 racial riots and are “delusional” in their perceived attempt to change a system built around the principle of Malay dominance. 

Singapore’s former Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs also warned that should they succeed in bringing in a new system, it will only lead to even more rigorous enforcement of Malay dominance with less space for non-Muslims. 

When asked by TODAY if he had any response to Mr Pua’s latest comments, Mr Kausikan said: “What else is the DAP going to say? He is obviously writing for his own ground. I understand that. But calling me names is not going to change anything.” 

The envoy later made similar remarks on Facebook.

In an earlier response yesterday to Mr Kausikan’s commentary, Mr Pua had said that the Malaysians who joined August’s anti-government rally organised by electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 — believed to be attended mostly by Chinese — were there purely to demand accountability from the government and not to pursue racial dominance.

Mr Pua said there needs to be a distinction between the principle of Malay “dominance” and Malay “supremacy” — the opposition is against the latter. The DAP lawmaker added that no one denies that Malays will dominate Malaysian politics and economy since they comprise the majority.

Responding to Mr Pua’s comments, Mr Kausikan wrote in a Facebook post yesterday that “one of the most common forms of delusion in political affairs is to mistake one’s hopes and dreams for reality or to believe that if one wishes fervently enough for something it will become reality”.

Mr Pua, who received his secondary education in Singapore at Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College on a Singapore government scholarship, shot back at the envoy today, questioning if the envoy was implying Malaysians should accept the status quo.

“In effect, (Mr Kausikan’s) valuable advice is stop smoking whatever we are smoking, Mr Najib is a nice guy you can cut deals with. Instead, we should all accept the fact that multi-billion ringgit scandals and ‘donations’ are costs Malaysians have to accept to ensure peace and prosperity,” wrote Mr Pua today, referring to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Mr Najib, who is also Finance Minister and chairman of the advisory board for state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), is under intense political pressure over the more than RM42 billion (S$14.2 billion) of debt that the company has chalked up. The Malaysian premier is also being asked to explain why a massive political donation of RM2.6 billion was deposited into his personal bank accounts by Middle Eastern donors in the lead-up to the 2013 Malaysian general election.

Mr Pua’s latest Facebook post drew more than 860 “likes” and 240 comments by this evening, mostly from Malaysian netizens who shared the lawmaker’s sentiment.

“One must understand that Singapore’s wish is to see Malaysia continue to be behind in everything, economy, racial harmony, etc ... It is to prove that the decision to leave Malaysia and be independent was the right one,” commented a Facebook user, Albert Tiong. AGENCIES

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