COMMENT | Many Malaysians seem puzzled by repeat-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent exercise in what’s known as ‘megaphone diplomacy", his very public and provocative statement in an interview with the Financial Times that Malaysians’ ridding themselves of the BN regime for the first time in the nation’s history may inspire Singaporeans to do likewise after 59 unbroken years of government by the People’s Action Party (PAP).
“I think the people of Singapore, like the people in Malaysia, must be tired of having the same government, the same party since independence,” Malaysiakini quoted Mahathir as remarking, much to the mystification of most, if not all of us.
I must confess that I haven’t been a mega-fan of Mahathir in the past. But recalling that I’ve made fun of him as ‘Mahahahathir’ a few times, I have to admit now that the joke’s entirely on me.
And as for my occasionally calling him Madhathir, now that he’s demonstrated enough smarts as to lead the opposition to a stunning victory over the seemingly-unbeatable Umno/BN robber-regime, I have to concede that if he’s crazy then he’s crazy like a fox.
However, having said all that, there’s no denying that he’s always seemed to have a bee in his bonnet, if not a bat in his belfry, about Singapore.
There are plenty of possible reasons for this, two of the most obvious being a natural species rivalry between himself as the Malaysian Tiger and Lee Kuan Yew as the Singapore Lion, or envy of the tremendous success of the ‘little red dot’ despite its lack of land, sand, water and other natural resources compared with much bigger and more bountiful but much more corrupt and less prosperous Malaysia...