Sensitive matters must be handled responsibly

I read with much interest about how Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad wants to raise the price of raw water sold to Singapore (S'pore water deal: Mahathir seeks over tenfold price hike; Aug 14).

I feel that as the new Malaysian government has already been formed after Barisan Nasional's loss earlier this year, it has to be clear about how foreign countries should respond to public servants, like Tun Dr Mahathir, who use the media to express their views about matters that should be debated in the International Court of Justice.

Public sentiments and confusion can be stoked easily if sensitive matters are discussed in an unstructured way.

I hope Dr Mahathir is not going to follow the example of United States President Donald Trump in using Twitter to express his political views without proper consultation and thought.

Malaysia and Singapore are also part of Asean and must show maturity in their bilateral ties so as not to destabilise the economies of other member states.

Colin Ong Tau Shien

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2018, with the headline 'Sensitive matters must be handled responsibly'. Print Edition | Subscribe