The Straits Times, July 2, 2012
By Teo Cheng Wee, Regional Correspondent
KUALA LUMPUR - Umno-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia has accused Singapore of using the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) here to engineer the collapse of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, in the Malay daily's latest attack against the Republic.
An editorial yesterday by Awang Selamat - a pseudonym for its editors - highlighted the historical links between Singapore's ruling People's Action Party (PAP) and the DAP, as well as the 2009 visit of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew to Penang.
The DAP has led Penang's state government since 2008. Mr Lee's visit had been part of an eight-day trip to Malaysia that took him to Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Perak and Kelantan as well.
But yesterday's Utusan editorial - the latest in a recent series targeting Singapore and its leaders - claimed that during his Penang visit, Mr Lee had made a commitment to aid the state. It said that DAP-PAP ties have become more intimate since then.
'Singapore's willingness to help the opposition movement in Malaysia through the DAP seemingly cannot be contained any more,' it said.
'It has been manifested in several open activities like illegal processions and closed-door activities... All these can be read as signals that the Malaysian government may be taken over and replaced by a new government in which DAP will be dominant.
'PAP has waited more than 48 years to achieve the dream, which DAP is highly committed to bring to fruition. Isn't it like that?' it said.
The editorial caps a series of columns accusing Singapore of interfering in Malaysia's domestic politics. Last Sunday, Awang Selamat also linked the PAP with DAP, and accused Singapore of 'actively supporting' the opposition here.
This saga began when Utusan first highlighted allegations made by an unnamed blogger two weeks ago that three Singapore diplomats were 'actively participating' in the Bersih rally in April. It insinuated that Singapore was trying to topple the Malaysian government.
Foreign Minister Anifah Aman summoned Singapore's High Commissioner to Malaysia Ong Keng Yong to express his displeasure. Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the allegations, saying its officers were 'impartial observers' carrying out their professional duties.
The DAP yesterday also rebutted the allegations in the editorial, including a claim that its adviser Lim Kit Siang had once served as press secretary to Mr Lee.
'These are downright lies, as I was never involved in PAP during my years as a reporter in Singapore from 1961-1964,' Mr Lim said. 'I was never press secretary to Kuan Yew although I worked for a period in the press section of the ministry of culture.'
He called Utusan a 'lies paper' that has carried out a 'campaign of lies, falsehoods and demonisation' against the DAP and opposition leaders.