Hosting Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad earlier today (Nov 13), Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong tried to suck up to the Malaysian PM by claiming that he remembered eating wanton mee with Mahathir some 60 years ago when he was a child:
“I recalled enjoying wanton noodles in Bidor, Perak as a child at the official lunch with Dr Mahathir Mohamad… It was my first family trip to Cameron Highlands, where we would stop over in Bidor while on the way from Kuala Lumpur. We would drive up to Kuala Lumpur taking most of the day and break the journey overnight staying and stay at the railway hotel…”
The comment by Lee Hsien Loong brought an awkward silence from the Malaysia Prime Minister, who appeared at a loss on how to respond to Lee Hsien Loong’s public flattering.
Lee Hsien Loong tried to break out of his embarrassment by adding a line which garnered no response from the Malaysian PM either:
“…nowadays there is the North-South Highway and the journey is much faster, but the route is not quite as adventurous or scenic…”
Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad is currently in Singapore attending the ASEAN summit for four days from Nov 11 to Nov 15. Prior to his arrival, the Malaysia Prime Minister had told his Parliament that he is commencing water price negotiation with Singapore in the same visit.
There has been no mention about the water price negotiation in the Singapore state media this week, but Mahathir is determined to correct the water price contract which former PM Najib Razak agreed. Based on the contract signed by the corrupted former PM, Singapore needs only pay 3 sen (S$0.01) per thousand gallons of raw water from the Malaysian state of Johor. The new Malaysian government however revealed that a fellow Malaysian state, Melaka, pays at a rate of 50 sen (S$0.16), or more than 15 times the rate Singapore is getting.
Despite numerous requests by the Malaysian authorities to negotiate on an inter-agency level, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s government feigned ignorance and insisted that an unfair contract is still a contract that has to be honoured.