By Mahathir Mohamed
1. Ancient China considered itself the centre of the world and called itself the Middle Kingdom. And well it should. It was far more advanced in every way than Europe of the Dark Ages. Maybe China is thinking of making a comeback.
2. But we already have a new Middle Kingdom now. During Lee Kuan Yew's triumphant visit to Malaysia he made it known to the Malaysian supplicants that Singapore regards the lands within 6000 miles radius of Singapore as its hinterland. This includes Beijing and Tokyo and of course Malaysia.
3. Of course this self-deluding perception places Singapore at the centre of a vast region. It is therefore the latter day Middle Kingdom. The rest are peripheral and are there to serve the interest of this somewhat tiny Middle Kingdom.
4. Kuan Yew also explained that the fear Singapore Chinese would control Iskandar whatever is not justified. Malays can also work there. It is good to know that Malays can also work in their own country. I wonder as what? Maybe someone should make a study of the Malays of Singapore just to know what it is like to be a Malay minority in their own country.
5. As for the 3 sen per 1000 gallons of raw water supplied to Singapore Lee says it was absurd for the former Prime Minister of hinterland Malaysia to ask to increase it to RM8 per 1000 gallons. I don't know where he got this. Some Malaysian officers did suggest this figure but we were ready to bargain and maybe settle for RM3. And why not? Johore sells raw water to Melaka for 30 sen, 1000% higher than to Singapore. And Melaka is, I believe, a part of Malaysia! Some Malaysians may see the irony of this.
6. The great 5th Prime Minister has decided that since the people of Johore did not want to sell sand to Singapore, Malaysia would not build any bridge, straight or crooked, or negotiate and settle the other issues like the Central Provident Fund, the Railway land. Maybe the 5th Prime Minister thinks he is punishing Singapore. Actually he is giving Singapore what its wants including the 3 sen per 1000 gallons water until 2060. Think of how many grains of nasi lemak we can buy with 3 sen in 2060. Imagine what 1000 gallons will earn for Singapore at that time. Can't think of a more astute PM for Malaysia.
7. All those who met the great man from the little country were lectured on how Malaysia should be run. We should not have anymore problems now. We have been told the direction to take. MCA must help UMNO to win because Singapore does not want an Islamic Party like PAS to win. We must ensure this. Sorry PAS. Working with the DAP, the offspring of PAP has not endeared you to Mr Lee.
8. I have a lot more to say about this little Emperor but I will reserve it for later.
Former New Straits Times Chief on his visit (In Malay)
Lee Kuan Yew: Race, Culture, Genes
Malaysia visit roundup from Malaysia Insider
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Why is everyone excited about LKY?
No country for old men