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Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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NG ENG HEN RESPONDS TO MAHATHIR’S COMMENTS ON OWNERSHIP OF S’PORE & RIAU ISLANDS

Singapore Minister of Defence Ng Eng Hen responded to former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir’s recent comments about “claiming” Singapore and the Riau Islands, saying that it was taken out of context.

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Speaking to the media, Ng said that Dr Mahathir wasn’t talking to us, and that “If you want to jump up and down each time Dr Mahathir speaks, then you will be jumping like a jumping bean,” according to Straits Times.

He added that Mahathir deserves the respect that he is due, as he is a known entity who is respected as an elder, who has dealt with previous prime ministers, including PM Lee.

He added that Mahathir himself has said that those comments were not for Singaproe and that we should just take it at face value.

Recap

Speaking during a speech on 19 June, Mahathir said that “however, there is no demand whatsoever of Singapore. Instead, we show our appreciation to the leadership of this new country called Singapore.”

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Mahathir said that the government of Malaysia deemed the control of the Sipadan and Ligitan islands more valuable after winning control over it at the International Court of Justice, while giving up the Pedra Branca island to Singapore, calling it “the size of a table”.

Mahathir added that “We should demand not just that Pedra Branca, or Pulau Batu Puteh, be given back to us, we should also demand Singapore as well as the Riau Islands, as they are Tanah Melayu”

He said that the Tanah Melayu used to stretch all the way from Southern Thailand to the Riau Islands, and Singapore.

But now, he added, it is confined to the Malay Peninsula.

Mahathir then further added that he “wonder(s) whether the Malay Peninsula will belong to someone else in the future.”

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