Oct 3, 2006

Lee Kuan Yew's 'Sorry' Widely Reported In S'pore Media

Extracted from BERNAMA
Kuan Yew's 'Sorry' Widely Reported In S'pore Media

SINGAPORE, Oct 3 (Bernama) -- The Singapore media has reported widely on the content of a letter by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew in which he apologised to the Malaysian Prime Minister for the discomfort caused by his recent remarks about the way Malaysia treated its Chinese community.

"I am sorry that what I said has caused you a great deal of discomfort. After a decade of troubled relations with your predecessor, it is the last thing I wanted," Singapore's founding father said in his letter in reply to the Malaysian premier Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Abdullah had written the letter last week to seek clarification over Lee's remarks at a dialogue here on Sept 15 that the Chinese were being marginalised in Malaysia.

Besides reporting about what Lee had said in the letter, the media here also published the letter in full, including the annex which listed numerous media reports containing comments from Malaysian leaders about the marginalisation of Singapore Malays.

The annex traced over a dozen of such reports from the Malaysian media dating back from August 1998 till as recent as Sept 3 this year.

Lee had said in the letter: "On numerous occasions Umno leaders, including Dr Mahathir and many others, have publicly warned Malaysian Malays that if they ever lose power, they risk the same fate as Malays in Singapore, whom they allege are marginalised and discriminated against (see annex)".

Lee wrote in the letter that Singapore understood the reality of Malaysian politics. "We have never protested at these attacks on our multi-racial system or our policies, except to clarify our own position when necessary."

Lee's expression of sorry found its way on page three of The Straits Times titled "MM says sorry to Abdullah for discomfort caused" which appears side by side with Lee's letter.

Its sister paper The Business Times also published the report under the title "MM Lee apologises to PM Abdullah". It did not publish the letter however.

The TODAY newspaper did not carry a separate report about the letter. Instead, it published Lee's letter on its front page headlined "MM Lee writes to Abdullah about those dialogue remarks".

The only Malay language newspaper in Singapore, Berita Harian, made the report its main item on the front page with the title "Tiada niat campuri politik Malaysia" (No intention to meddle in Malaysia's politics).

The paper also published in full a translated version of Lee's letter including the annex.


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