Singapore is Southeast Asia’s ‘mercenary prick’, Tony Pua says after top envoy’s Bersih 4 remarks

Pua said he didn’t care much if Bilahari’s views were those of an academic or armchair critic. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Pua said he didn’t care much if Bilahari’s views were those of an academic or armchair critic. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 — Senior Singaporean diplomat Bilahari Kausikan’s description of Bersih 4 rally-goers as “delusional” portrays the island republic as Southeast Asia’s “mercenary prick”, DAP’s Tony Pua said today.

The DAP publicity chief pointed out that Bilahari was spokesman for Singapore as ambassador-at-large, saying he didn’t care much if Bilahari’s views were those of an academic or armchair critic.

“He did Singapore no favour by cementing the perception of his country as the mercenary prick of Southeast Asia. And they wonder why they have no friends,” Pua said on his Facebook page.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP was responding to Bilahari, who posted on Facebook yesterday that one of the most common forms of delusion in politics was to mistake hopes and dreams for reality, in response to Pua’s opinion piece titled “‘Delusional’ young Malaysians have hearts and souls” that had been written in reply to Bilahari’s opinion piece run by Singapore daily The Straits Times Tuesday.

“I do not begrudge Mr Pua his hopes and dreams and I wish him and indeed all Malaysians of all races well.

“But I fear this particular hope and dream may well lead to disaster; it did in the past and if it happens again Singapore — my sole concern — cannot but be affected. So my hope is that that whatever their dreams, the DAP's policies will be made during their waking hours,” Bilhari wrote on his Facebook page yesterday.

Pua said today that he had argued that those who demonstrated at the Bersih 4 rally last August had not made racial demands, but had expressed their hopes for a better Malaysia, “defined by justice, good governance and democratic ideals”.

“Mr Bilahari responded on his Facebook to tell us that while he ‘respected’ our hopes, we should stop our pipe dreams.

“In effect, his valuable advice is stop smoking whatever we are smoking, Mr Najib is a nice guy you can cut deals with. Instead, we should all accept the fact that multi-billion ringgit scandals and ‘donations’ are costs Malaysians have to accept to ensure peace and prosperity,” said the opposition MP, referring to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is embroiled in controversy surrounding a RM2.6 billion donation deposited in his personal accounts.

In Bilahari’s opinion piece in The Straits Times, the Singaporean former permanent secretary for foreign affairs claimed that Malaysia's Chinese youth are "delusional" in their perceived attempt to change a system built around the principle of Malay dominance.

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