Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bersih: Singapore explains

Singapore has made it clear that none of its diplomatic staff in Malaysia was engaged in the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28, and that all newspaper and blog reports about their participation was unfounded and baseless.

Speaking to the Republic's parliamentarians yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said that both Singapore and Malaysia have no interest in undermining the good relations between both sides (read the full transcript).

"The allegations are false... the officers were at the rally as impartial observers, just like diplomats from more than 10 other countries," he said, adding that it is regrettable that some elements in the Malaysian media and blogs have chosen to focus only on Singapore and have deliberately tried to misrepresent the issue.

The minister pointed out the Singapore officers did not wear yellow, the colour of support for Bersih and avoided Merdeka Square, which had been declared out of bounds by Malaysian authorities.

"The Singaporean diplomats in KL are present at a wide range of social, economic and political activities in Malaysia.

"This is part of their professional diplomatic duties, like any other embassy or high commission, and their actions were in accordance with the Vienna Convention."

Shanmugam said Singapore is "comfortable and confident that our diplomats acted well within the bounds of the law".

He said he had conveyed these points twice to his Malaysian counterpart Anifah Aman, over two separate phone calls.

Singapore and Malaysia, he stressed, have every intention of preserving the positive bilateral relationship that both sides have worked hard to build.

NOTE: How did he know that diplomats from 10 other countries were also there?


under-counter said...

yea la.

how come he knows diplomats from more than 10 countries were also there...!!!


oppsss.... wild thought!

Anonymous said...

good and very positive. hope it clears the air.

IT.Sheiss said...

I believe him.

About 10 years or more ago, I attended as Singapore High Commission media event at the Concorde Hotel in Kuala Lumpur and an Indian man there said he had seen me at the Parti Sosialis Malaysia fund raising dinner earlier that year or the previous year.

I asked him whether he was with the PSM or a supporter and he said no, he was with the Singapore High Commission.

I asked him why he was there and he said that he was there out of interest because there are no Marxist events in Singapore, so he went there to learn more or something to that effect.

He was a first secretary without stated portfolio, like many of his colleagues.

I learned from one of my journalist colleagues that this diplomat also attended PAS functions up north and was quite open about his identity.

Singapore remembers the Socialist Front and speaking to ordinary Singaporeans, they tend to fear PAS coming to power in Malaysia, since it will have an influence, especially on Muslims in Singapore.

I would say that the Singapore diplomats were at the Bersih rally not to support Bersih but to spy on them, since it would follow that Singapore is concerned about a "Bersih" happening in Singapore as well.

Singapore diplomats may be in contact with alternative media such as Malaysiakini but need not necessarily support them.

The opposition Singapore Democratic Party has been known to have contacts with NGOs in Bangkok - the same NGOs Malaysiakini is in contact with, which perhaps is why Singapore diplomats are in contact with Malaysiakini, not to support them but to learn more about them.

In this case, I feel the reaction of pro-UMNO supporters and of Perkasa is misguided.

I'm also sure that despite its official protests, Wisma Putra knows this too, so has not come down hard on Singapore over this issue.

After all, despite occasional disputes, Malaysia's BN government and Singapore's PAP government are on the same side of the barricades, while Bersih, Singapore opposition parties, Malaysian opposition parties, alternative media and opposition NGOs are on the other side.

Anonymous said...

a typical kiasu reply

Anonymous said...

The other countries were also wearing yellow.

penangan said...

salam tn,

semoga penjelasan ini menutup segala tuduhan terhadap diplomat mereka.

dalam hal ini, saya rasa tak mungkin singapura ingin campur tangan dalam hal-ehwal negara kita. hubungan sesama kita sudah akrab. jadi tak perlu dikeruhkan.


kepala hotak dia berjambul said...

majulah singapura!

majulah singapura!

memang diorang lebih maju daripada kita pun, macam amerika.

bila dah maju, nak kontrol macam2!


missionary said...

i still wonder why did perkasa protested at the high commission over the issue when they didnt have any valid evidence to accuse the diplomats!

wonder what is perkasa and what is their agenda...

bedok man said...

i hope those who accused spore diplomats of taking part in bersih, will be satisfied with the explanation.

our bilateral relations are more important than throwing stone at each other.

as a singaporean working in malaysia, i consider this as my second home, a special and unique country to live.

lets hope for the best in our two-way relation.

mat gombau said...


den pun gaso gamai lagi diplomat negaro lain yang ado dokek dataran pado haghi tu sebagai pemerhati.

den pun pecayo diplomat kito di mano2 negaro pun akan jadi pemerhati pado insiden macam ni, misal eh di libya, mesir, jordan dan negaro lain.

bodohlah kalau join sekali sobab iyonyo melanggar tatasusila diplomatik.

apo pun, memang kono ambek tahu.

den ni diplomat ladang gotah, kadang2 nak gak tau ladang orang lain dah tanam semulo ko, ado orang motong ko tak,... heh!

an end user said...

why must their parliament raise the issue to such an extent?

why did the minister has to come up with such a lengthy explanation?

i find it rather intriguing...

Anonymous said...

i dont take that as an explanation.

it was more of a defense statement!

mr kudita said...

then, what about the alleged visit by spore diplomats to pas kedah hq a few months back...

why no explanation?

because it was true!

huruhara said...

alaaaa.... tu semua alasan nak tutup apa yang sebenarnya berlaku.

tapi takpa lah.

sebahagian besar rakyat malaysia tau dap adan hubungan dengan pap...

ni pun dah cukup dah...

Anonymous said...

kita orang saje je nak ambil tahu hal engkau orang.

kita orang sebenarnya tak heran pun kalau negara korang kuat ke, lemah ke...

so, apa yang korang bising2 ni?

uwaaaarggh kah kah!

IT.Sheiss said...

missionary said...

"i still wonder why did perkasa protested at the high commission over the issue when they didnt have any valid evidence to accuse the diplomats!"

"wonder what is perkasa and what is their agenda..."

Perhaps Perkasa are secretly aligned to Bersih and were protesting Singapore diplomats monitoring Bersih activists so closely - i.e. right down to the ground. ;)

Bersih activists can now need to worry about a "guardian angel" from Singapore's Internal Security Department watching over them when they visit Singapore.

Anonymous said...

they can't do it back home so thay wanted a novel experience but then again their track record speaks loud and clear

and I hope Anifah takes the proper action against them

shorty said...

only about 10 countries?

i believe more foreign diplomats were near the rally on that day...

any report from bukit aman?

Anonymous said...

At first the kiasu fellows of Singapore said they never took part. Then later their kiasu boss said they went there on their own free time, without the blessings of the embassy. Now this idiotic cartoon of the embassy came out and said that they went there as observers as 10 other countries also have observers which only shows that they went there with the blessings of the embassy. What a bunch of Singapore clowns trying to hoodwink the whole world.

Anonymous said...

Yup anon@July 10, 2012 10:00 PM

those men in white can be very creative in their justifications

but facts speak for themselves