If anything needs to be deduced from today’s (10 Dec) latest releases from the Malaysia Ministry of Transport and Malaysian PM Mahathir, it is that the Malaysians are well-trained in the art of saying a lot of nothing, and essentially masters at confusing people and distorting truths.
Don’t believe? Read for yourself.
If you cut through the diplomatic BS, it essentially says everything has remained same as yesterday. “WE. ARE. NOT. LEAVING. YOUR. HOUSE.”
In fact, they are so adept at springing “facts” and playing victims to the people and the media on both sides, that at some point, people have gotten confused about what actually happened.
Erroneously said Singapore extended its territorial waters illegally because of land reclamation
Strangely, when Malaysia published their version of the map with the boundary in 1979 (which was not recognized by Singapore by the way), land reclamation had not happened in Singapore, so how did this idea that Singapore’s Territorial Waters expands with Singapore’s land reclamation? Here’s the best part – the expansion of Johor Port limit which Malaysia announced on 25 Oct 2018 has gone beyond the line that they themselves drew.
For nearly 20 years, Singapore patrolled the waters, kept vessels safe in here, and there was peace. Suddenly, we woke up to news that Malaysia has published a new map and claimed our waters as their own (the shaded area in the map below). If that is not blatant encroachment, then what is it? Or does having a new government give them to right to throw out things in their archives and suka-suka press the reset button? Is the Malaysian Civil Service so cui at archiving and filing that they lost a map that they themselves issued? So instead of admitting that they have acted like rogues and laid claim to Singapore’s waters, Malaysians started to spread the fake news that Singapore claimed the waters by expansion through reclamation.
Hypocritically called for “cease and desist” after laying claims to Singapore’s Territorial Waters
In Chinese, there is a saying “作贼喊抓贼”, which loosely translates to “The thief shouts “catch the thief!”. This perfectly applies to what is exactly happening in this intrusion into Singapore Territorial Waters. As Mr Kee Chiu, Chan Chun Sing, puts it across neatly, “You made a claim, you send forces in, you ask Singapore to leave as condition to start talks. How can this be?”. This netizen’s analogy makes it easy to understand exactly is going on here:
And it is incredulous that the Malaysians are pretending to act like reasonable gentlemen by issuing a statement asking Singapore to “cease and desist”, adding selective amnesia to omit the fact that actually they moved in aggressively first, and are still there.
More mind games…
Yet more bizarre mind games were played today. At 5pm (10 Dec), Anthony Loke, issued a challenge to Singapore to release letters regarding the Instruments Landing System (ILS) which they themselves, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), had sent to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Oct 9, Nov 15 and Nov 21 and Nov 28 adding that “failing which we are prepared to release the letters for full disclosure of such information for the public’s comprehension of our stand on the same,”.
Here, we need to pause – If Malaysia felt aggrieved that Singapore had not put out a full picture of the correspondences with regards to the ILS, then WHY didn’t they just release the letters to the media (or again, we really need to know if the Malaysia Civil Service is not capable of keeping a copy of the diplomatic letters they mail out?)
It looks like they are trying to paint a picture of Singapore being dishonest, while they are trying to buy time to think of the next pot shot at Singapore doesn’t it?
On the same day, in yet another odd situation, Mahathir said Malaysian vessels will be in the area (of the disputed waters) until a decision has been reached, just shortly before their Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement that Malaysia will continue discussions with Singapore and take all effective measures to de-escalate the situation. Either Mahathir hadn’t gotten the latest update from his own Cabinet ministers, or Malaysia was yet again stringing Singapore along with no real intention of de-escalation.
Blurring the lines between fact and fiction
As the situation drags on and Malaysia continues to play this game of flip-flopping to confuse the facts and blur the lines between fact and fiction with its award-winning acting skills, we can only hope that at some point, Mahathir and his colleagues will realise that their scheming ways can only go so far before people call their bluff. Justice, after all, will prevail.
As much as Singapore wishes to be the gentleman and good neighbours, if our lives are in jeopardy, it cannot be helped if we decide to push back before we are snuffed out.
So Anthony Loke, why is it that you didn’t have the letters you mailed to Singapore to show to the media? Did YOU have something to hide or this was just another of your media stunt?