Photo of Prof Kishore Mahbubani (left) and Ambassador Bilahari Lausikan from Today

Dean of Lee Kuan Yew’s School of Public Policy (LKPSPP) and old time friend of Lee Kuan Yew, Professor Kishore Mahbubani, hit back at ambassador Bilahari Kausikan, ambassador Ong Keng Yong and Law Minister K Shanmugam saying they are the ones who are at fault. Prof. Kishore Mahbubani shamed the current Lee Hsien Loong administration saying they “squandered the founding fathers’ hard work”:

“I wrote this article as I believe that some of our senior officials have been imprudent in their public statements. As a result, there have been some serious mishaps in our external relations… The hard work done by our founding fathers has been squandered. Our geopolitical space has shrunk… My criticisms have hit home. In response, some of these senior officials are floating a canard that this article is an attack on PM because it appeared on the weekend before the parliamentary debate today… By floating this canard, the officials are distracting attention from their own contributions to our problems.”

Read: Ambassador scold predecessor PAP Old Guard: You insulted Lee Hsien Loong, you are muddled and mendacious

Prof. Kishore Mahbubani ended his state media interview insinuating ambassador Bilahri Kausikan’s “muddled and mendacious” comment is uncivil:

“Some of the responses have been civil. Some have not been. I hope you will agree with my big point that Singapore needs to become more prudent in its public statements.”

Dr Yap Kwong Weng, regional adviser for IndoChina at the LKYSPP, lend support to Prof. Kishore Mahbubani and slam the rude ambassador:

“I find Bilahari’s reply exaggerated and unnecessary. There is nothing “flawed” or “dangerous” about what Kishore had to say…. But Bilahari tried to relate Kishore’s arguments to LKY as if Kishore had denounced LKY in the first place. This is the part that was deemed unnecessary… I am disappointed that Bilahari, as our Ambassador-at-Large, someone whom I still respect, had to criticise Kishore publicly and even attacked his credibility using LKY as a reference point. Given his long years of experience in foreign affairs, he should perhaps suggest ways on how Singapore can become more competitive in current times.”

You may view Dr Yap Kwong Weng’s full article on state media here.

Ambassador Bilahari Kausikan responded on state media Today saying that he still believes he is right because he has “10,000 more followers” on Facebook:

“My Facebook post rebutting Prof Mahbubani has since been widely shared, garnering over 1,500 likes. I suddenly found that I had 10,000 or so followers.”