Singapore warns Malaysian politicians not to interfere in its domestic affairs

PETALING JAYA: Singapore has warned Malaysian politicians to stay out of its affairs, in the light of the arrests of 21 Malaysians for demonstrating in the island republic.

A joint statement by the Ministries of Home (MHA) and Foreign Affairs (MFA) said demands by Malaysian Members of Parliament for Singapore to let off those arrested was seen as foreign interference.

“Actions to involve foreign parties are attempts to seek special treatment and to further politicise what is essentially a domestic law and order issue in Singapore,” it said in a statement on its website.

Singapore added that it had always taken a strong stand against foreign issues or politics brought into the island nation.

It added that it did not interfere in domestic affairs of other countries, and expected similar treatment in return.

Previously, Malaysians gathered at Singapore’s Merlion Park on May 8 and 11 to protest against the May 5 general election results.

They were a rendition of the Blackout 505 rallies that took place in major cities around Malaysia.

On May 11, 21 Malaysians were arrested by Singaporean police. The work pass of one and visit passes of two others were revoked. The remaining 18 are currently being investigated by authorities there.

Several Malaysians have since approached their political representatives, including DAP’s Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching, for aid.

Last week Thursday, several Pakatan Rakyat MPs also petitioned the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur for leniency against the 21.

Meanwhile, in response, Teo said she was only fighting for the one whose work pass was revoked, arguing that the person was unfairly punished.

She said that the particular person only attended one rally, adding that Singapore’s reaction was too harsh.

“It’s not that we want to interfere with (Singapore’s) internal affairs. If (the one person) only attended one protest, then that is unfair,” she said.

Teo said that eight of the 21 had approached her over the matter, and with some telling her that they accepted their punishment.

She added that there was a spate of miscommunication in the episode, and asked Singapore to re-investigate the case.

“We’re only pleading for the one person…I don’t think this amounts to interfering. They are Malaysian citizens, and we have a duty to them,” she said.

(The Star Online http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/5/29/nation/20130529110855&sec=nation)

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