Malaysia summons S’pore envoy

Kuala Lumpur, September 28 :

Malaysia today summoned Singapore’s envoy over remarks by the city-state’s ex-premier Lee Kuan Yew on the alleged marginalisation of ethnic Chinese here.

Singapore High Commissioner T Jasudasen met the foreign ministry’s highest-ranking civil servant, Rastam Mat Isa, over the comments which have caused a furore among politicians in Malaysia, ministry officials said. “They discussed the issue of the Minister Mentor’s remarks,” a Singapore high commission official told AFP, referring to Lee by his current title.

Lee, the city-state’s founding father, told a forum in Singapore earlier this month that Malaysia’s minority Chinese community was being systematically marginalised. He also said it was vital that predominantly ethnic Chinese Singapore stands up to its majority Muslim neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia. Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has said Lee’s remarks were unjustified and inflammatory, while Malaysian officials today confirmed the premier sent a letter during the week to the Singapore government on the issue.