First 100 days of Pakatan Harapan government 'like a roller coaster ride', says Singapore High Commissioner to Malaysia

Mr Vanu Gopala Menon said building links with the new government, understanding how it worked and charting a new course for Singapore-Malaysia relations was hard work.
Mr Vanu Gopala Menon said building links with the new government, understanding how it worked and charting a new course for Singapore-Malaysia relations was hard work.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - As the Pakatan Harapan government marked its first 100 days in office, the Singapore High Commissioner likened it to a "roller coaster ride" for him and members of his mission.

Mr Vanu Gopala Menon said building links with the new government, understanding how it worked and charting a new course for Singapore-Malaysia relations was hard work.

"But the change in government has also made life more interesting for all of us. There is a new buzz of energy across Malaysian society, which we diplomats feel as well.

"I feel honoured and humbled to be living in these interesting times, and to witness first-hand a new chapter in Malaysia's history," he said after exchanging toasts with Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu at Singapore's 53rd National Day reception in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday (Aug 16).

He offered his congratulations to the Pakatan government by reading eight lines of a pantun (Malay poem).

There was loud applause at the last line - Ikhlas bekerjasama sesama jiran, Agar kehidupan rakyat damai dan makmur (Our efforts are sincere as neighbours, so our people can live in peace and harmony).

Among the Pakatan leaders present were Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

 
 
 
 

Indian High Commissioner Mridul Kumar, who hosted his first National Day reception the day earlier, said it was a perfect platform to convey his congratulations to Malaysia.

"We welcome a new Malaysia," he said as he offered a toast to chief guest Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

The envoy then broke into a song from the 1954 patriotic Hindi movie Jagriti (Awakening).

Mridul said the lyrics inspired young Indians to play a role in safeguarding the country from trials and tribulations.