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Mahathir still living in the shadow of Lee Kuan Yew

Recent tough stance toward Singapore reflects rocky relations of the past

Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, center, visited Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in November 2018.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Malaysia's hard-line attitude with Singapore over a territorial dispute reflects the often fractious relationship that Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had with his peer, the late Lee Kuan Yew, founding father of the city-state.

The two countries have always had differences, but under former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, cooperation was on the rise. Now, with his successor Mahathir leading the country, Malaysia is walking back on previous agreements with its neighbor while ramping up tensions.

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