Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen: ‘Take a few breaths and give Dr Mahathir the respect that he is due, don’t jump up & down each time he speaks’

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While former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad ruffled more than a few feathers recently by saying that Johor once owned Singapore and that Johor should claim it and return it to Malaysia, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen refused to be baited.

In an interview on Thursday (June 30), Dr Ng said, “If you want to jump up & down each time Dr Mahathir speaks, then you will be jumping like a jumping bean.”

In answer to a question about the former Malaysian PM’s recent remarks, he said he wasn’t sure a response was even needed “because Dr Mahathir wasn’t talking to us.”

The Straits Times quotes him as saying, “You have to take a few breaths and give him the respect that he is due. He says it for different audiences, and he himself said that those comments were not for us, so we should just take it at face value.”

Dr Mahathir made these remarks in Selangor on June 19 at an event put together by a number of non-governmental organisations titled Aku Melayu: Survival Bermula (I am Malay: Survival Begins).

At one point, he said that Malaysia should also get back the Riau Islands, “as they are Tanah Melayu (Malay land).” 

In his speech, he also wondered “whether the Malay Peninsula will belong to someone else in the future.”

Dr Ng’s remarks have been praised online.

“Great reply Mr. Ng,” one wrote.

Others expressed sentiments similar to the Defence Minister.


Mahathir says his ‘reclaim Singapore’ comment reported out of context, did not show he was mocking the idea

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