Mahathir’s testy exchange with Singaporean Oxford University undergraduate.

Mahathir exchanges heated debate with Singapore Oxford Undergraduate


Darrion Mohan, a second-year History and Politics undergraduate tore into Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad when he raised the recent issue of Johor’s Chief Minister’s intrusion into the disputed waters between the country. 

PM Mahathir said the Johor Chief Minister went into the disputed waters without the federal government’s permission but admitted the reaction was quite severe. In his classic move of relabelling things as he sees fit, he called the disputed waters as “neutral waters” which Darrion quickly shot back that it was not even recognised in Malaysia’s 1979 map and it was suddenly made as Malaysia’s territorial waters.

Darrion then asked another question asking if PM Mahathir that Malaysia practiced confrontational diplomacy – in the words of the previous PM Najib Razak to which PM Mahathir responded with a lame “I think you are not a Malaysian citizen so you have no right. Are you Malaysian?”.

Darron then rephrased the question “The question is whether through your actions over the high-speed rail, the airspace, the maritime dispute, the crooked bridge, the water price revision; you want to return to the fraught diplomatic ties with Singapore that we saw during your initial tenure as PM or if you want to go beyond that.”

PM Mahathir in his other classic move chose to redirect the question to Malaysia – Singapore water price dispute. He said: “Singapore buys water from Malaysia at 1 Singapore cent…..since 1926…you mean to say prices don’t change?”

Darrion then shot back: “Malaysia has had the opportunity to revise the 1962 water agreement and Singapore sells treated water back to Johor at a subsidised price and we sell 11,000 gallons per day, more than what we are obligated to do under the agreement.”

PM Mahathir once well known for decimating his opponents with with quick wit and sarcasm is having a hard time to outwit a later generation who are highly educated with many aware of the policies that were created when he was the fourth prime minister of Malaysia. 

The full video of the debate can be viewed here. Video produced by Astro Awani. 

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