The Malaysian Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) yesterday summoned Singapore's High Commissioner Ong Keng Yang to explain allegations that the tiny but prosperous and militarily strong republic had been spying on Malaysia on behalf of, among others, America and Australia.
According to news reports, Ong met Wisma Putra's secretary-general Othman Hashim for about 15 minutes. Definitely quiet a short time to explain such a serious allegations, which I believed, to be the truth and nothing new.
Singapore is the third foreign mission summoned by Wisma Putra after the United States and Australia. What are friends for if you don't trust them? Spying is nothing new as far as Singapore and Malaysia are concerned and it is an open secret.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was correct when he said that Malaysia took the allegations seriously and was doing all it could to establish the credibility of the reports. Muhyiddin, who was formerly the Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of Johor, the Malaysian state bordering Singapore, was fully aware, to say the least, of the fact that spying and mistrust do occur between Malaysia and Singapore.
It is known that Singapore Malays are 'banned' from certain sensitive security establishments simply because the government did not trust them for the simple reason of 'family ties' with Malaysia.
Singapore and Malaysia did not trust each other although having inextricable relationship and unavoidably share a common destiny. Malaysia and Singapore, being in one region, cannot be separated but mistrust existed.
It was not Malaysia's style to escalate problems and the spying episode must be resolved and solutions must be found to ensure continued peaceful coexistence.
Having said that, Malaysia must defend her position and integrity. We must make sure that Malaysia is politically, economically and militarily stable and strong..... and not forgetting that we need a strong government!