Oct 2, 2006

Lee Kuan Yew's Letter Forwarded To PM's Office

Extracted from BERNAMA
Kuan Yew's Letter Forwarded To PM's Office

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 2 (Bernama) -- Wisma Putra has forwarded the letter by Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew over his recent claims about the systematic marginalisation of Chinese in Malaysia to the office of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the missive was sent to Abdullah's office as soon as it was handed over to Wisma Putra by Singapore High Commissioner T. Jasudasen, Monday.

Abdullah had written to Lee seeking clarification over the latter's controversial remarks that the attitude of Malaysia and Indonesia towards the republic was shaped by the way they treated their Chinese communities.

Syed Hamid said he did not read Lee's letter but added that it was in response to matters raised by Abdullah following Lee's remarks.

"It is up to the prime minister to take whatever step he feels appropriate," he said when contacted by Bernama.

Syed Hamid expressed the hope that the episode would not affect ties between the two neighbouring countries.

"We have our disagreements, there are certain things that we are not happy about. The prime minister chose to write and they had taken the position to reply. It's good.

"We hope this (matter) won't jeopardise our bilateral relations," he said.

He further said it was likely that Singapore would make the letter public following its delivery to Abdullah.

Lee, 83, told a forum on good governance in Singapore on Sept 15 that "my neighbours both have problems with their Chinese. They are successful, they're hardworking and therefore they are systematically marginalised, even in education. "And they want Singapore, to put it simply, to be like their Chinese -- compliant."

The remarks drew protests in Malaysia and Indonesia. The foreign ministries of both countries had also summoned the Singapore envoys to explain Lee's remarks.


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