‘Who does Ridhuan Tee think he is?’

BN leaders slam Utusan Malaysia and its columnist Ridhuan Tee for his ‘war on Singapore’ remarks.

Anisah Shukry, FMT

It was a case of BN turning on its own ally. Leaders of the ruling coalition are questioning Utusan Malaysia for publishing an editorial on how Malaysia should have waged war with Singapore decades ago.

Umno leader Syed Ali Alhabshee demanded that the Malay daily, which is owned by Umno, explain why they had allowed its columnist Ridhuan Tee Abdullah to make such presumptuous and potentially damaging remarks.

“Who in Utusan decided to give space for Ridhuan to make such comments? Utusan, as a national newspaper, shouldn’t publish such type of remarks. We have a Cabinet, we have a government that makes such decisions for the country,” said the Cheras Umno branch division leader.

Ridhuan, who is a Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) lecturer, had written today: “it is fortunate that I was not PM when solving the dispute over Pulau Batu Puteh. If I was, I would definitely have not brought it to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The only resolution to the dispute over the island is to wage war.”

Pulau Batu Puteh was at the heart of a territorial dispute between Malaysia and Singapore dating back to 1979.

Both laid claim to the island, but the nearly three-decade tussle ended when the International Court of Justice ruled in 2008 that the island was in Singaporean territory.

“His type of comments can sour ties with Singapore, and make our government look bad. Who is this Ridhuan Tee Abdullah (to make such remarks)? Is he even a politician? Is he next in line to be the prime minister?” said Syed Ali.

“It is not his prerogative to say ‘if I were prime minister’ and for it to be published – it looks very bad on our prime minister and government.”