PETALING JAYA: The United States has found itself on the receiving end of witty Malaysians over its blunder of mistaking Singapore as being part of Malaysia.
This came as the world witnessed the historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Tuesday (June 12).
In posting the transcript of a press briefing that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave on Monday (June 11), the venue was described as “JW Marriott, Singapore, Malaysia” on the US State Department’s official website.
A check by The Star at 4.24pm on Tuesday (June 12), found that the mistake of the venue had been rectified to “Singapore”.
Malaysians who noticed the blunder quickly left a barrage of comments on The Star Online’s Facebook page, with many noting the lack of geographical knowledge by the average American.
Billon Wong said that an American had once asked him, “Which part of China is Singapore in?”
Lanny Low said that Americans have poor geographical knowledge, while Suseela Thevi Suppiah added: “To the average Americans, the world is America!”
Andrea Soon pointed out that it could be the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal which had stolen Singapore’s thunder from the eyes of the world.
“That shows that even the superpowers can sometime make this kind of mistakes. Maybe we are famous due to 1MDB until we overshadowed Singapore,” said Soon.
However, some Malaysians were not offended by the mistake, with James Kwan saying: "I don’t think I am pissed. Only hardcore Singaporeans will be.”
Sya Sha said: "Actually, it’s an insult to Singapore, but an honour to Malaysia.”
Singapore joined Malaya and the two Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak to form the new federation of Malaysia under the terms of the Malaysia Agreement in 1963.
However, it left in 1965 to form the independent Republic of Singapore.
The choice of Singapore as a venue for the meeting between Trump and Kim had been heralded as a proud moment for the island-republic, which may now have a thing or two to say to the US State Department.
Trump’s State Dept thinks Singapore is in Malaysia
US State Department corrects venue blunder