Dr Mahathir is back. He made history by winning the Malaysia General Election and is now the world’s oldest prime minister. Hats off to him.
So of course, our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong need to build relations with him and he went to visit Dr Mahathir in Putrajaya over the weekend. Somemore since we are so near to Malaysia right?
The visit seemed to have gone rather well. PM Lee said that it was a “warm, fruitful meeting” and they had an exchange of views.
But there were people who started commenting online about how it is quite throw face that our PM Lee only met with Dr Mahathir for 30 mins.
Please lah, these people online also damn funny, machiam like they jin expert and know whether 30 minutes is short or long for this kind of visit.
So we went to find out what is the normal length that country leaders usually meet lor. And actually 30 mins is not uncommon leh. For example:
- The Pope usually gives no more than twenty-five to thirty minutes to a visiting heads of state or government. Even Queen Elizabeth also only got half an hour with the Pope hor.
- When Donald Trump met with British Prime Minister Theresa May in January this year in Switzerland, they were also scheduled to meet for 30 mins only.
- When PM Lee met Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the Asean summit in Vientiane on 6 Sept 2016, the two also met for 30 mins only.
So, ok what, how come people say Singapore lose face? We really don’t understand why some netizens focus on this 30 min instead of what it means to have this meeting.
Don’t forget hor, Dr Mahathir used to threaten us with our water supply and wanted the construction of a “crooked” bridge to replace the existing Causeway.
So it is a good thing that Singapore faster go and visit him to build new ties. And Dr Mahathir was also happy to welcome PM Lee when he is already so busy trying to fix Malaysia’s problem, like checking on Najib and how to pay their 1MDB debt (somemore they have less money now to pay the debt after removing GST).
So maybe the ‘warm visit’ is a far cry from the confrontations Dr Mahathir once had with founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, at least for now. The world has changed since then and quite obviously, Malaysia also need good relations with Singapore to do well lah (remember they still need to pay their 1MDB debt right, heard over the news that their country debt is over RM1Trillion, sibei shiong!). Bilateral trade between Singapore and Malaysia stands at S$100 billion (RM295 billion) hor, don’t play play.
And sometimes, it is not about having long long discussion. Some of these meetings are arranged just to have face time only.
So don’t harp on the small small thing like 30 mins lah. Not like this is the only meeting they gonna be having right? What is more important is that both sides have taken the first step to continue the friendship ya?