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MEA fumes over Singapore PM’s comments on India: This is how Singaporeans were upset after Kejriwal’s ‘Singapore variant’ comment

"Things start off with passionate intensity. The leaders, who fought for and won independence, are often exceptional individuals of great courage, immense culture, and outstanding ability. They came through the crucible of fire and emerged as leaders of men and nations. They are the David Ben-Gurions, the Jawaharlal Nehrus, and we have our own too," he further added.

On Thursday (February 17), the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) reportedly summoned Singapore High commissioner Simon Wong after the country’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong claimed that Indian Parliamentarians have pending criminal cases against them.

Citing sources, news agency ANI reported that India has dubbed the remarks of Singaporean PM as ‘unacceptable’ and ‘uncalled for.’ A source confirmed, “The remarks by the Prime Minister of Singapore were uncalled for. We are taking up the matter with the Singaporean side.”

Contentious remarks made by Singaporean PM about India

On Tuesday (February 15), Lee Hsien Loong delivered a 44-minute long speech in the Singaporean Parliament, during a debate on a report by the Committee of Privileges that probed accusations of lying by members of the Opposition Workers’ Party. The career politician commented about ‘political decline’ in India, Israel and the United Kingdom.

He remarked, “Most countries are founded and start off on the basis of high ideals and noble values. But more often than not, beyond the founding leaders and the pioneer generation, over decades and generations, gradually things change.”

“Things start off with passionate intensity. The leaders, who fought for and won independence, are often exceptional individuals of great courage, immense culture, and outstanding ability. They came through the crucible of fire and emerged as leaders of men and nations. They are the David Ben-Gurions, the Jawaharlal Nehrus, and we have our own too,” he further added.

While pondering about how Singapore can be protected from facing a decline in political probity, Lee Hsien Loong had alleged, “Nehru’s India has become one where, according to media reports, almost half the MPs in the Lok Sabha have criminal charges pending against them, including charges of rape and murder.”

The comments by the incumbent Singaporean Prime Minister wherein he insinuated that ‘Nehru’s India’ got somehow overshadowed by criminal Parliamentarians at present had drawn the ire of the Indian government. As such, the MEA summoned the Singaporean High Commissioner and expressed its displeasure.

Singapore was ‘offended’ by the reference of country-specific Covid-19 variant

In May last year, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to claim that a new variant of Covid-19 was found in Singapore, which could result in India’s third wave. While resorting to fear-mongering, Kejriwal alleged that the new variant was extremely dangerous for children.

 His ‘ignorant’ claim not only embarrassed India on a global platform but also invoked strong reactions from the Singapore government. Simon Wong, Singapore High Commissioner to India, said that Singapore and India are solid partners in the fight against COVID-19, and the pandemic knew no boundary or political colour.

“Singapore Government called in our High Commissioner today to convey strong objection to Delhi CM’s tweet on “Singapore variant”. High Commissioner clarified that Delhi CM had no competence to pronounce on Covid variants or civil aviation policy,” the MEA clarified.

Wong said that the false statements by Arvind Kejriwal would invite actions under Protection from Online Falsehoods & Manipulation Act (POFMA), an act intended to mitigate misinformation in the country. However, he added that they are satisfied with the government of India’s clarification, putting an end to the matter.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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