Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam at a Singapore Press Club forum on 27 Aug :
"Their biggest problem is education because they have not integrated their schools. Politically the Chinese MCA wants to maintain control of the population by having Chinese schools. So they take the Chinese out of the mainstream schools, the kids don't integrate. The Malays are in mainstream schools which are becoming more and more Malay and Islamic, which discourages the Chinese from getting into schools. So from a very early age you keep the Malay and Chinese populations apart, how do you integrate them later?"
Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say at a campaign rally on 3 Sep:
"Then in 1965, Singapore and Malaysia separated, because Mr Lee Kuan Yew wanted a nation regardless of language, regardless of race – one that is equal.
So we can’t stay in Malaysia, as the tenet of Malaysia is: Malaysia belongs to the Malays. So we had no choice, we could only separate. So I am thinking, if we didn’t separate in 1965, today you and I would be Malaysians, ‘heng’ (lucky) ah."
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the UOB Plaza lUnchtime rally on 8 Sep:
"Whenever there's haze blowing to us or to Malaysia, somebody in Indonesia will say 'these people are so ungrateful, (for) 11 months we supply them fresh air, never charge for oxygen. One month haze already so unhappy'."
So far only the toothpicker raider has been reproached publicly. Malaysia’s MIC leader, Datuk R. Ramanan, called Lim an “idiot”:
"Lim is a minister who behaves like an idiot. Singapore should be embarrassed for having a cabinet minister like him.
I understand you want to be patriotic but you do not have to throw insults at your neighbour. It does not bode well (for a nation) to have ministers such as him.
If Lim wants to talk about luck, the manpower minister should feel fortunate that there are so many Malaysians working in Singapore and paying taxes to the island republic. Do you not feel lucky about that?"
MCA central committee member Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon added that Mr Lim’s ill remarks were uncalled for especially since both countries have been working toward a better bilateral relationship in recent years. Shanmugam and Lee didn't exactly help in fostering neighbouring ties either.