December 2, 2006
via Sophie’s World:
Singapore seems to be doing whatever it can to reduce its dependence on its traditional hinterland — Malaysia.
It’s quite obvious that Singapore leaders have been making a beeline to the Middle East lately to help develop better guangxi with the rich Arabs. Malaysia has not profiled as prominently in the Singapore agenda despite their closer geographical and historical links.
It sounds reasonable as Singapore forges closer links with the Middle East. But is it too much to ask Singaporeans to pick up Arabic when most of them can’t even speak basic Malay, which is the lingua franca of Southeast Asia? Malay is also a much simpler language compared to Arabic. Many Singaporeans don’t even know how to sing the national anthem Majullah Singapura, which is in Malay.