Leaders of Malaysia's ruling Alliance coalition levelled harsh words at Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in the Malaysian Parliament, as relations between the Singapore and Central governments look to have reached the point of no return.
The King had to ask Malaysians not to worry, as many Alliance leaders railed against Mr Lee's speech in Parliament a week earlier against Malay political domination. Some accused Mr Lee of wanting to partition Malaysia and said he was telling lies and making trouble. Said Malaysian Finance Minister Tan Siew Sin: "As long as Mr Lee Kuan Yew is Prime Minister of Singapore, one can almost say that it would be far easier for the camel to pass through the eye of the proverbial needle than for the Central government to cooperate with the government of Singapore."
Wrapping up the parliamentary debate, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Razak Hussain said: "The gulf that divides the People's Action Party and the Alliance is now wide and clear. PAP means Perish And Partition."
He added: "Mr Lee also said that probably the people of Penang, Sabah and Sarawak, Singapore and Malacca could come together.
"In short, he has suggested Malaysia must be broken up into two - one, the Malay Malaysia, and the other, Lee Kuan Yew's Malaysia, or as he calls it, Malaysian Malaysia," he said.
But Mr Lee told reporters he was the last person to want partition. "The Tengku knows that the only alternative arrangement I envisage is within Malaysia, that accommodation and adjustment can be made within Malaysia," he said.
Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Toh Chin Chye also defended Mr Lee, saying he never meant that Malaysia should be partitioned.
"What he meant was that people of three states - Penang, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak - would be the first to come in support of a Malaysian Malaysia," Dr Toh said. "Why do we want to partition? Why do we want Penang and Malacca? I would much prefer Langkawi where I can have a good rest.
"We cannot have a united nation as long as political leadership insists on separating the various components of a multiracial society."