Malaysia was once known as Malaya, before its merger with Singapore in 1963. Singapore tourism officials believe that Malaysia has no right to retain the letters “si” in the country’s name, and that Malaysia continues to hold onto those letters as a symbolic representation of pseudo-sovereignty over Singapore. More importantly, however, the letters “si” that Singapore freely donated to Malaysia in 1963 made the slogan “Malaysia truly Asia” possible, allowing the present day country sans Singapore to reap billions in additional tourism earnings. Singapore is therefore demanding compensation, on the grounds that “Malaya truly Asia” does not rhyme. The law firm Drew & Napier, who routinely represent the Lee family in defamation matters, have drafted a strongly-worded letter to the Malaysian government on behalf of the Singapore Tourism Board to demand payment.
Singapore demands royalties for “si” part of “Malaysia truly Asia” slogan