Saturday, January 19, 2019

Outdated, reckless Foreign Policy affecting CH farmers

In his 22 years as fourth Prime Minister, it is not customary of Tun Dr Mahathir to participate in any by-election.

That practise is about to end as he announced plan to campaign at Cameron Highlands on 25th, a day before polling on January 26th and a day after Council of Rulers should make their decision on the new Agong.

Maybe he campaigned in earlier by-elections, but this time, he made extra effort to secure Orang Asli votes for DAP by getting Attorney General Tommy Thomas to help the campaign and sue Kelantan government for infringing on the land rights of the Temiar Orang Asli.

Obviously, PH campaign is not doing well. DAP's third attempt using the same non-local as candidate is repeatedly tripping. A home run issue is needed to change the trend. More so, Mahathir needed to win DAP's support to stay beyond March.

DAP's strategy to focus on Orang Asli and consider Chinese voters as taken could backfire. Current strain in relation between Malaysia and Singapore is affecting the livelihood of Chinese Cameron Highland vegetable farmers. Faced with lower output, their problem is compounded by Singapore switching source to the Phillipines.

Farmers are faced with rising cost of insecticides which raised cost by 50%. Lim Guan Eng's disasterous management of the economy are also hurting farmers' informal sources of funding. 

Politics-for-politics sake 

The lawsuit is a brilliant Mahathir move. Though doubtful he will pursue till the end, it could draw out much needed Orang Asli votes for DAP. However, it is typical politics-for-politics sake move of the political animal.

For the sake of politics, Mahathir currently destroying the Malaysian economy, severed diplomatic goodwill developed under Najib administration, and made farmers, fishermen and common folks sufferred and sent to poor houses.

In the past, his politics reversed the progress his policies made for Bumiputera economics and for his own selfish reasons, destabilised and destroyed the political party he led.

It is the same for the present.

The lawsuit proves he has a deeply ingrained hatred and vengeance against Kelantan, PAS, and Malays at large in his psyche as highlighted repeatedly by this blog before GE14.

Mahathir's lawsuit will only open the floodgate for lawsuits on Malay reserve land improperly seized by government, and Sabah and Sarawak to sue for denying the two East Malaysian states the money they rightfully deserve.

A freak of history prevented the two states to have the 10-yearly scheduled review meeting in 1973. Come Mahathir, he totally ignored the review, and further infringed the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

It will not be a surprise should Sarawak pull out of Malaysia. The dedication of Clare Rewcastle Brown to pursue the Sarawak leaders could be part of a covert operation for the break-up.

Sabah could then follow suit. By then, all non-Malaya signatories to the MA 63 would have left Malaysia. Mahathir is a great leader and statesman, isn't he?

Mahathir's Singapore vengeance

Singapore was the first to be out, "kicked" by the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman.

They were accused of breaking a promise to lay-off Malayan politics and Malaysia was to do the same of Singapore. UMNO and PAP accused each other of not respecting the promise.

The relationship of the two countries would naturally be challenging. Malaysia see relationship with Singapore as difficult. On the other hand, Singapore see Malaysia as irrational.

Many issues raised by Malaysia against Singapore seldom fall short on justification. Malaysia often got outwitted by Singapore's capability in documenting history and complying with international law.

Malaysia lost to Singapore in the Pulau Batu Putih dispute. Despite being off the coast of Pontian, the former AG, Tan Sri Gani Patail failed to put together a credible case. He used an adulterated picture.

Words are important documents were sent late to The Hague and arrived after the proceeding.

There was a window of opportunity for an appeal and Tan Sri Appandi Ali made the submission. After GE 14, Mahathir singlehandedly, before appointment of the Cabinet members, withdraw, thus erasing any chance of getting back the Johor island.

It is unlikely to do with Singapore's PM being the second foreign leader to pay respect to the new PH Prime Minister. Upon returning to power, Mahathir was back to his antagonist self to view Singapore with contempt and to spite the relationship rebuilt by Najib.

In the heat of the withdrawal of Pulau Batu Putih appeal, he passed a remark Malaysia will do land reclamation till the border.

Mahathir also irked Singaporeans with cancellation of HSR, statement to revive the crooked bridge, and call for a review of the water deal. It was purely populist politics.

A Singapore student argued the water deal at Oxford Union with Mahathir in the video below and explained further in his FB here:

It was his administration that failed to negotiate a good price for the sale of Johor water. According to Tan Sri Muhyiddin's men then, Mahathir was scared off by Lee Kuan Yew's threat of war.

But, Mahathir agreed with the deal negotiated by Muhyiddin to practically gave away permanently a large tract of Johor land for Singapore's water catchment.

The Malaysia-Singapore current tension require handholding but the man to hold is the cause of it.

Situation is aggravated by politicians' distrust of civil servant and view them with contempt. Ministry like Foreign Affairs is highly dependent on professional diplomats and politicians' important role is to provide leadership.

Mahathir is supposed to handhold majority of cabinet members, including Lim Guan Eng and Saifuddin, but wasted time abroad to appear in Senegal and Oxford Union, and left cabinet members clueless on their own.

Malaysia-Singapore tension

Malaysian government vessel and Singapore Police Coast Guard off Tuas on December 6th 2018 

In the past, Mahathir was instrumental to create an issue out of Malaysian airspace encroachment by Singapore's SAF.

The fact hidden from the public was that it was part of a five nations defence agreement involving Malaysia, Singapore, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. The agreement existed after independence as an urgently needed defense for the then vulnerable Malaya.

Mahathir was reluctant to adhere to the agreement on airspace during his first term as PM but did not dissolve the agreement. Instead, he politicise it to the hilt, especially during Pak Lah's tenure as PM.

All the while, he collaborated to allow Singapore to provide radar cover for South China Sea and information was shared with Malaysia.

The sudden issue of airspace raised by Transport Minister, Anthony Loke, which affected Singapore's Seletar Airport in mid-December, came as a surprise and rather untimely.

Singapore's side claimed it was based on an agreement made in 1973. The Malaysian CAA had been in the know since end of 2017. Is it another case of Malaysia not doing its howework?

Well, Malaysia Baru, Politik Baru Foreign Minister, Saifuddin Abdullah insisted

Then came another from Loke on maritime border announcement in October following port extension by Johor Port. Its root goes back to 2002 (wonder who was PM?).

Malaysia never recognised the area claimed as Singapore territory While Singapore claimed Malaysia did not made claims on the disputed areas since 1979. MB Johor's visit of the disputed area in Tuas is considered as encroachment.

Singapore disagreed with Loke's statement that was Mahathir's past issues. Their paranoia was invoked and they retaliated to sent asset to Tuas. Saifuddin could only say don't.

Not only irked by the ghost of Mahathir's past, Singapore could be frustrating with Malaysia for pulling out of the land deal meant to resolve the long standing and drawn out negotiation of KTM land.

Najib sorted the mess left by Daim and admirably in favour of Malaysia but Mahathir directed Khazanah Nasional to sell the prime land agreed for the majority owned joint development with Singapore's Temasek.

Anything that has Najib's touch are to be cancelled without consideration for the benefit. Such is the vengeful Mahathir.

Blurred Foreign Minister

The tension was serious and could have been resolved had it been others as Foreign Minister handling.

Saifuddin was only interested to talk to the media than to his counterpart. He was more keen to gain local attention, preserve his ego and maybe raise his political profile. 

In the heat of the encounter, Saifuddin tried naively to cool the situation to say everything is well with Singapore.

Malaysians are not unaware of Singaporeans no holds barred critic of Malaysia. Saifuddin was blasted by a former Singaporean diplomat, Bilahari Kausikan and made to look stupid on his FB:
“You have to admire the Malaysian foreign minister’s ctuzpah: You create a problem, when we respond to defend our interests, you say that the solution to the problem you created in the first place is for us to cease defending our interests and to accept equal responsibility for the problem. Sorry bro. Good try, but no cigar. We are not stupid.”
And, he himself asked Singapore to not send asset to Tuas.

Saifuddin denied his Ministry gave permission to MB Johor to inspect Tuas. This is one comment:

At the time it happened, Mat Sabu was kept silence, and media social made fun of him enjoying a bowl of noodles.

However, Mat Sabu showed his diplomatic prowess to settle issues with his Indonesian counterpart after Saifuddin messed up with unnecessary strong words to "condemn" Indonesia.

Saifuddin media craze antics continued with unnecessary statements to comment Mahathir's meeting with Sultan Johor has nothing to do with the dispute and stating the unnecessary obvious that next move on airspace issue will be after the next meeting.

He made another announcement to dispel Dato Seri Anifah Aman's advise to use backdoor channel and indirectly referring also to Mahathir to put ego aside (full statement at end of posting).

Now he admitted the existence of escalating tension earlier described as no problem and issue. Yet, he said relationship with Singapore remained good.

This statement is obviously for Cameron Highland by-election.

Cameron Highland should say enough

In the meanwhile, Singapore postphoned the Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia scheduled for the January 14th. If Khazanah not willing to develop land compensated for KTM jointly with Temasek, why would Singapore want to support Iskandar?

Sin Chew reported planned Chinese New Year shopping tours by Singaporeans were cancelled. The Star did their bidding for DAP and sell their newspaper to deny and report Singaporeans still shop in Johor Baru.

It means the Cameron Highland's Chinese vegetable farmers, who are used to high margin sales to Singapore, are facing financial strain. Their workers - Chinese, Indians, Malay and Orang Asli voters of Cameron Highlands - will face the fallout.

It is only one of the numerous cases of Mahathir's foreign policy disasters that severely affecting the peoples' livelihood. As former diplomats were saying recently, Mahathir's foreign policy is outdated and belong to the cold war era. 

Mahathir practically quarreled with all the nations of the world.

Thus the opportunity of the Cameron Highland by-election should be used by voters to send signal on behalf of the general Malaysian voters for their dissatisfaction for refusal to deliver their election promises.

A loss for PH will not change the federal government but warn them that Malaysians had enough with their excessive politicking and witch hunting to cover-up their failure.

More so, it is better to give BN a win to save taxpayers money from the cost of another by-election. PH win will be protested and the court would surely call for another by-election.

They have broken several election by-laws such as threatening voters, bribing voters (in which the earlier BN winner was accused and penalised of), bias EC Chairman, abusing government assets and agencies, and campaign on lies and slanders.

The racial make-up in Cameron Highlands is 33.7% Malay, 29.7% Chinese, 14.9% Indians and 21.7% Orang Asli. With PAS supporting BN candidate, Malay votes should be for BN. Indian cold be split along MIC, support for DAP's Indian candidacy and so-called Kayveas factor.

DAP presumed Chinese votes are solid and focused their campaign on Orang Asli and Malay voters. The Chinese voters would be giving Malaysia a favour with a surprise to make PH buck-up.

PH can't be allowed to continue their deceptive politics and should admit they screwed up big time!



17 Januari 2019

Saya merasa terpanggil untuk menyampaikan pandangan berkaitan isu dua hala antara Malaysia dengan Singapura yang telah menjadi berita sensasi dalam media kedua-dua negara.

Sewaktu saya melaksanakan amanah selaku Menteri Luar Negeri Malaysia, saya juga seringkali berhadapan dengan pelbagai cabaran dalam mengurus hubungan bilateral dengan negara tetangga kita.

Walaupun banyaknya dugaan dan halangan, kita sentiasa dapat mengharungi semua ujian dengan tenang dan berkesan.

Negara jiran tetangga sering memuji kecekapan dan kebijaksanaan diplomasi yang kita tonjolkan. Sudah tentunya ia merupakan hasil rundingan dan usaha diplomatik disebalik tabir oleh pegawai-pegawai Wisma Putra yang bekerja tanpa mengira masa yang telah membuahkan kejayaan cemerlang bagi negara.

Wisma Putra memainkan peranan penting dalam menangani isu-isu rumit dunia diplomasi. Hasil rundingan di peringkat pegawai dibawa ke pertimbangan Menteri Luar Negeri sebelum diputuskan oleh Perdana Menteri.

Sekiranya kata putus gagal dicapai, maka usaha-usaha lain akan dilaksana membawa isu berkaitan ke pengadilan atau tribunal antarabangsa. Usaha seperti ini sudah tentu dilakukan secara berhemah dan bijaksana.

Kita tidak seharusnya dan dengan sewenang wenangnya melakukan sebarang tindakan provokasi atau membiarkan sesiapa sahaja tanpa maklumat serta latar belakang yang kukuh  memberikan komen tanpa memikirkan akan kesan dari tindakan seperti itu.

Dunia diplomasi juga melibatkan aspek multilateral yang menuntut kerjasama antara negara. Kita menghargai dan memandang tinggi pada kerjasama serantau terutamanya ASEAN.

Singapura adalah salah satu rakan Malaysia yang sering menjadi sekutu yang rapat dalam memperjuangkan pendirian dalam isu-isu multilateral dan antarabangsa dimana Malaysia dan Singapura mempunyai nilai-nilai persamaan.

Nilai dan elemen seperti inilah yang perlu diambilkira dalam menjalinkan hubungan diplomatik yang sihat. Janganlah kerana keegoaan kita memusnahkan apa yang telah dibina selama ini.

* Edited 20/1 8:00 AM


Anonymous said...

Berita Tok Batin 'dikurung' di sebuah hotel di Brincang telah tersebar luas di media sosial sejak temgahari tadi.

Khabarnya dengan bantuan jentera kera-jaan JAKOA beberapa batin telah dipaksa dibawa ke hotel berkenaan dengan tujuan 'memaksa' menyokong dan memberi undi kepada calon PH dalam PRK Cameron Highlands ini.

'Spy' Go TV telah berjaya menyelinap masuk untuk mengesahkkan perkara berkenaan sememangnya berlaku. Walaupun dengan kawalan ketat, namun dengan bantuan 'orang dalam' dapat juga kami menyelinap masuk.

Beberapa orang pemimpin kanan PH sudah pun kelihatan tiba ke hotel berkenaan. Dimaklumkan bahawa batin-batin berkenaan akan di 'brainwash', diugut dan tawarkan 'hadiah' supaya menyokong dan mengundi PH nanti.

Sebelum itu. Seorang kakitangan JAKOA dilaporkan ditukarkan serta merta ke Gua Musang berikutan kegagalannya mengumpulkan masyarakat orang asli bagi tujuan ceramah kempen politik PH beberapa hari lalu.

Anonymous said...

Mahathir is still in charge, unfortunately. It is going back to the old ways.

Saifuddin Abdullah is a weak minister. Actually all the ministers are weak. That is what he (Mahathir) wants ...’.

Anonymous said...

We’ll stop logging if you pay us our royalty, Kelantan tells Putrajaya

Good response from Kelantanis. Same situation in Kedah. Perak and various states under opposition during BN era.

Why PH doing the same. on oppo states?

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