Singapore did not interfere in Malaysia’s political affairs during a rally for electoral reform in Kuala Lumpur, Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said.
Shanmugam stressed that Singapore diplomats were there as impartial observers and were not wearing yellow shirts, the uniform of the rally participants.
“They were strictly neutral and observed the boundaries of Malaysian law," he said.
"It is the duty of our diplomats to observe and report back," the minister said. "They did not go to Merdeka Square, they did not participate… and I believe diplomats from other countries did the same thing.”
Last month, Malaysia summoned Singapore’s envoy Ong Keng Yong to explain the presence of three Singapore diplomats at an illegal rally on 28 April this year that saw tens of thousands of people gather to call for electoral reforms. More than 500 people were arrested then.
Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman had said “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would not hesitate to take stronger diplomatic actions against diplomats who are found to have stepped beyond the diplomatic norms.”
According to Shanmugam, the "baseless" allegations by the Malaysian media and blogs online over the alleged interference of Singapore were what he called an “attempt to twist the facts”.
While the minister maintained that the Malaysian government does not share those views, he did however affirm the strength of two countries' relations.
Shanmugam was responding to a query raised by Member of Parliament for Potong Pasir Sitoh Yih Pin on how the incident could affect Singapore’s relations with the neighbouring country.
With additional reporting by Jeanette Tan
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