“However in recent times this non-interference principle appears increasingly undermined through expanded membership, new challenges arising from globalization processes, growing demands for democratization, the increasing international prominence of cosmopolitan norms or by the now increased racism, fascism, religious fanaticism and bigotry!”
Datuk Dr Jacob George
ON BEHALF PEACE LOVING MALAYSIANS, MALAYSIA ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST APOLOGIZES TO SINGAPORE ON UTUSAN MALAYSIA ARTICLE!
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was created in 1967!
Interestingly it was Asia’s first regional body dealing with a variety of common interests that has survived to the present day!
I am advised by my colleagues in the international diplomatic circles and intelligentsia that the original norms meant to guide ASEAN’s behavior were first and foremost rooted in the principle of non-interference among neighboring states.
And in view that has significantly contributed to ASEAN’s regional stability.
Member-states are strongly discouraged from meddling in one another domestic affairs, political revolts or any acts or omissions that can contribute or disrupt another member of the grouping!
This directly, through “black operations” or by covert operations!
However in recent times this non-interference principle appears increasingly undermined through expanded membership, new challenges arising from globalization processes, growing demands for democratization, the increasing international prominence of cosmopolitan norms or by the now increased racism, fascism, religious fanatics and bigotry!
So I can understand the irritation of Singapore’s envoy to Malaysia who has taken Malaysia’s Utusan Malaysia to task for publishing what he cites as “inaccuracies and misrepresentations” regarding Singapore’s upcoming presidential election.
My learned friend High Commissioner Vanu Gopala Menon warned that:
“Singapore will not tolerate the use of race or religion to promote ill-will between different segments of Singapore society, or to undermine our institutions.”
Like Vanu, I am equally confounded what was the real intentions of Utusan Malaysia in publishing in its Aug 14 commentary titled “Berubahkah nasib kaum Melayu di Singapura? Presiden sekadar simbolik (Will the fortunes of Malays change in Singapore? President is only symbolic)”.
I am equally surprised why the same newspaper never published the envoy’s response to these articles?
Sadly, this omission can be interpreted as mischievous, arrogant and an abuse!
For those of us who have the needed intelligence, decorum, international political experience, the needed diplomatic exposure, we know that in clean Singapore, the president is the symbol and unifier of multi-racial Singapore and the custodian of the country’s reserves.
He is also the protector of the integrity of the republic’s public service.
On behalf of all respectable, peace-loving, law abiding and sensitive Malaysians, I sincerely offer my deepest and heartfelt apologies to Singapore!
In the ASEAN spirit, this should never have happened.
I wonder what the reaction and response would be if Singapore throws the rules and engagement of diplomacy and decides to also publish a series of articles on politics in Malaysia?