It was all fun and sport as ministers and top officials from Singapore's Home Affairs Ministry and their counterparts from Malaysia's Internal Security and Home Affairs ministries slugged it out at the annual games here yesterday.
From golf to darts, bowling and badminton, carom to table tennis, officials from both sides sweat it out in a mixed team format of the games aimed at forging closer ties between the ministries.
Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng, who is also Home Affairs Minister, said the games themed "The Bridges of Friendship", deepens relations between the ministries.
Ooooo! That ‘B’ word – was that meant to poke someone in the eye, a someone who’s not very popular with the current governments on both sides of the Johor Straits?
"As close neighbours, we face common challenges. … blah blah blah …”
Wong said professional and working relations between officers from both countries must go on irrespective of the state of political ties might be.
Speaking at the same event, Malaysian Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad expressed his gratitude for the hospitality accorded to his delegation.
There were two teams for this year's games -- the "Causeway Team" and the "Link Kedua Team" comprising officials from Malaysia and Singapore.
What, no “Scenic Bridge Team”?
In 2004, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also Internal Security Minister, suggested that the teams participate as teammates and not compete at country level.
Indeed, afterall, “we” are now so close to the Singaporeans.
Next year's games will be hosted by Malaysia's Home Affairs Ministry.
The events could well be (1) how many has each ministry apprehended under the nation’s ISA? (2) how many criminals have been sent to the gallows? (3) how many newspapers have been closed down? … so on so forth.
But in this year’s friendly, Singapore leads by 2 – 0 in the “favours rendered” event, one favour being the “22 reasons why a certain someone was a bad leader” and the other being the timely spanner of “Chinese Malaysian being marginalised”, a red flag waved in Malay faces to help “unite” a disunited group.
Some Chinese Malaysians even believed, or wanted to believe, that the person who uttered those words was actually looking after or concerned about them. It's cruel, it's heart breaking, it's demoralising, but the reality has always been he didn't and doesn;t care two hoots about Chinese Malaysians.