It's a TINY country, dont be proud!
Extracted from REUTERS
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad on Friday dismissed Singapore as a "tiny" country and said it should mind its own business in a racial row between the neighbours.
Responding to criticism from Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew that Malaysia mistreated its ethnic Chinese minority, Mahathir said: "Don't be like that Kuan Yew. You just look after your rice bowl, that is all.
"The country is tiny, don't be too proud," added Mahathir, 81, who ruled Malaysia for 22 years until 2003.
A similar reference about Singapore's geographical size had sparked a storm between Singapore and Indonesia in 1998.
Then-Indonesian President B.J. Habibie referred to Singapore as a "little red dot" in a sea of green -- a reference to the fact the city-state of 4.4. million people is surrounded by Malaysia and Indonesia -- two large, predominantly Muslim countries.
Lee, 83, told a forum in Singapore last week that it was vital for Singapore, a predominantly ethnic Chinese state, to stand up to its bigger neighbours.
Singapore and Malaysia have deep economic ties, but diplomatic relations are often strained. The two countries briefly united as one country in 1963 but separated two years later in a falling out related to racial politics.
tags : Tun Mahathir Mohamad Malaysia PM singapore tiny country
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