TL;DR – That’s why they need to use Singapore as a whipping boy.
There was a sense of euphoria when Pakatan Harapan (PH), led by Dr Mahathir, defeated the Barisan Nasional led by Najib. The Malaysians thought they saw a glimmer of hope for reform, for a better life, for progress for their nation. After all, in its election manifesto, PH had promised 10 things it hoped to achieve within the first 100 days in government. Alas, it seems that PH isn’t living up to the hype.
PH not living up to the hype
At the end of 100 days in government, Dr Mahathir’s government only managed to achieve two of the promises. Worse, at a closed-door meeting on Monday in August, Dr Mahathir said that Pakatan Harapan had made too many election promises because it didn’t expect to win in the 14th general election.
Dr Mahathir has since publicly admitted that the PH government needs to review the pledges it made in its election manifesto. He said if these were to be fulfilled, it would result in a great loss to the nation.
Now the year is ending. But without many major achievements in the way of improvement to the lives of Malaysians, there really isn’t much to celebrate. One can say that it’s a bad close to the year (still no closer to catching Jho Low…).
But Dr Mahathir can’t let the year just end like that. He needs something to distract Malaysians, take their mind off the problems going on in their own country. So what does Dr Mahathir do?
So it’s back to old tricks again…
That’s a trick he’s used many times.
And now, he’s doing it again. Hence the latest issues about reclaiming the air space above Johor and extending its port limits. It is indeed well within Malaysia’s rights to reclaim the air space above Johor. But it has to go through the proper process. It has yet to do so.
Extending port limits is an entirely different thing altogether. The extension will result in the Johor Bahru Port Limits (JPL) extending beyond even the limits of Malaysia’s territorial sea claim in the area, as set out in Malaysia’s own 1979 map, which Singapore has never accepted. In fact, the extension encroaches into Singapore’s territorial waters.
Worse, Malaysian government vessels have also made repeated unauthorised intrusions into our territorial waters. All these are serious violations of our sovereignty and international law.
But we won’t fall for them
There’s another reason why Malaysia will be playing all these tricks now.
Singapore just announced the candidate to take over as the next PM and the line up for the next generation of leaders (assuming PAP wins the next General Election, of course). Dr Mahathir wants to ‘test’ Singapore’s next generation of leaders. He wants to cast doubts in Singaporeans about whether Singapore’s next generation of leaders are capable to stand up against a bully like him.
He’s trying to divide Singaporeans.
But we must not fall victim to the old tricks of wily Dr Mahathir. We need to stand united, stand firm, and stand our ground. Regardless whether you like or hate PAP, this is our home and we must defend it. We can.
And, we need the world to know that if push comes to shove, we will.