The president of the United Malays National Organisation’s (UMNO) Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has slammed Economics Affairs Minister Azmin Ali for shaming Malaysia in front of Singapore.
After claiming that he had met with "senior Singapore officials" on Sunday to discuss the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail, Azmin backtracked and said he met "a Singaporean" instead.
His reply came after Singapore's Ministry of Transport (MOT) refuted his claim, saying that no meeting regarding the HSR had taken place, nor has a date been set for discussion about the project.
In a statement to Today, an MOT spokesperson said:
“As of 6 August 2018, the Malaysian Government has not provided the clarifications sought by Singapore and has not communicated their proposed dates for such discussions.”
Speaking to Malaysian reporters outside Parliament on August 7, Azmin had this to say about MOT's reply:
"They were right. When I mentioned to you (reporters) yesterday, did I say I met the officials from MOT (from Singapore)?"
At the doorstop, Azmin added that Malaysia could not meet Singapore before the requested date of July 31 as it was preoccupied with the ongoing parliamentary session and other domestic issues.
Hence, he would come up with a proposed date in August, adding that "a date has been fixed".
Here's a YouTube video from Malaysia Today:
Today also reported that Azmin said that he had met with a "Singaporean" while he was visiting Malaysia's Home Affairs Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in Singapore on Sunday.
Azmin criticised by former M'sia DPM
Azmin's latest remarks did not sit well with the former Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister, who criticised his political opponent for making Malaysia look like a "big liar".
In a media statement, Zahid said that MOT's official clarification made Malaysia's government look like liars who "make up stories to make themselves feel good".Here's what Zahid had to say about Azmin and the HSR:
1. The denial of Singapore's authority on the statement by Minister of Economic affairs, DS Azmin Ali, regarding his alleged meeting with the Republic’s representative about the HSR, shocks the opposition.
2. Singapore’s official statement has embarrassed the Malaysian government and is deemed as a "big liar" who makes up stories to make themselves feel good.
3. If it was true, we don’t understand why they have to lie about the subject, either to prove to their people the HSR is still in the works or just to show how much work the Pakatan Harapan government is actually doing.
4. Why aren’t our citizens informed about the current situation of the discussions we have had with the Republic? Should they be lied to just to cover up our weaknesses?
5. After our government has come up with the biggest lie about our current debt, we now welcome more lies and tricks by the government.
15. You don’t have to twist your words and say "facts that are not true" just to cover your weaknesses and wrongdoings. This is our country and its future is our shared responsibility.
We provide a timeline of events relating to the HSR project:
Top images via Wikipedia and Railway Gazette.