Like in Malaysia, the politicians in Singapore are also taking this opportunity to show off their wayang skills and to prove to Singapore that they have memorised the Lee Kuan Yew playbook on how to handle relations with Malaysia. The latest to air his views is non-other than PM-in-waiting, Heng Swee Keat. He called the incursions by Malaysian vessels into our territorial waters a direct "violation of Singapore's sovereignty and international law" and that Singapore will "take firm action to protect its sovereignty and territory".
Like his other PAP colleagues, Heng is demonstrating that he has learned important lessons from Lee Kuan Yew. It's not a surprise because he did serve as Personal Private Secretary to LKY. Heng has showed that when push comes to shove, one must demonstrate that one has big balls.
Is all this really necessary though? LKY will rise from his grave and say yes.
You know who else will do likewise? Donald Trump. PAP politicians will echo the same approach. They are starting to sound like a broken record. Come on lah, are we that insecure and helpless?
Our sovereignty is very important to us. If it is challenged and we do not respond firmly, then we will be bullied. Our people will continue to be at the mercy of our bigger neighbours.
However, there are many different ways a firm message can be sent. There are different ways of to skin an animal. At other times, a softer approach may yield better results.
The very act of showing that we are not threatened and that we have trust in the Malaysians to do the right thing could be more powerful than reacting to every incursions with the same message. That way, they know that they cannot rattle us by using these repeated incursions. It is how we responded to the repeated threats to cutting off water supply. What did we do? We searched for solutions to make us less-dependent on water from Malaysia. We became more secure in ourselves.
But because we have chosen to react like this, you know that the Malaysians will do it again. And other countries will also learn from the Malaysians.
The writer, Kelvin, pleads for politicians on both sides to don't waste their people's times.