This morning, Johor caretaker Chief Minister Abdul Ghani travelled to Singapore to campaign for votes. It is said that almost of 400,000 Malaysians overseas are in Singapore, and most of them have their constituencies in the state of Johor. Ghani is contesting in Gelang Patah against DAP’s veteran Lim Kit Siang. Refer to this blogpost for more on the Battle for Johor.
The Malaysian Insider carried an article on his visit to Singapore. In it, it was stated that,
Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman will take his Barisan Nasional (BN) campaign for Gelang Patah to Singapore today, likely to canvas for votes from Johor folk residing and working in the island state
Ghnai’s plan is said to be,
Ghani is going to Singapore. We only invited limited media…Instructions just said to gather in Bukit Indah at 6am… once we arrive, only then we will know what the programme is.
Amazing that a BN candidate and caretaker Chief Minister at that, campaigning in the territory of Malaysia’s neighbor is widely publicized (even by the Singapore press) and seen as an action not inappropriate.
This also seems to be unprecedented. As Singaporeans also travel to Malaysia over the weekends, and some do reside in Johor, would it then be appropriate for Singapore political leaders to travel to Johor to campaign (during the weekends) when Singapore holds its own elections which is due in 2016?
Singapore does have a sizable Thai community in the Golden Mile areas, but have we seen Thai political leaders descending upon Singapore to canvass for votes during the Thai election campaign period?
Singapore does have a sizable Singaporean community residing in Australia, but have we seen Singapore political leaders traveling to Australia to canvass for votes during the Singapore election campaign period?
I must say that the Singapore authorities must have very much treasure the Singapore-Malaysia bilateral ties that they allow these campaigning activities to happen in Singapore. When faced with such activities as a caretaker leader visiting Singapore to campaign for votes, the Singapore press gladly publicize it. Just imagine the possible reaction of Malaysia press if Singapore leaders were to canvass for votes in Malaysia during Singapore’s campaign period. Will they gladly publicize for the Singapore leaders, or will they say there should be a restriction of political activities of foreign nature in Malaysia?
Moreover, not only that the Singapore press seems very eager to help publicize the activities of the Malaysia’s ruling party candidates, it also does not dare to utter a single word of dissatisfaction when BN supremo Dr Mahathir and other BN leaders alleged that DAP is a proxy of the PAP (ruling party of the city-state) or that the PAP was a Chinese chauvinistic party inciting racism in Malaysia while it was still in the Federation. Just imagine the possible reactions from personalities such as Dr Mahathir, if Singapore leaders were to canvass for votes in Malaysia during Singapore’s campaign period.
As we were told, Ghani even reached the Jurong East bus interchange, presumably to canvass for votes there.
Part II of this post can be found here.
This morning, Singapore’s press carried pictures of Ghani’s visit,