Be tough to Singapore!
This mentality was stamped in the Mahathir era and has been embedded deeply in the minds of those who have worked with him. Anwar is no exception. And his immediate response to Najib's agreement with Hsien Loong was that Najib was soft. Any Malaysian leader that signed or come to any agreement with Singapore must be soft. Then what is being tough? Being tough means never to sign any agreement with Singapore. If Singapore asks for 10% Malaysia must ask for 20%. If Singapore asks for 20% Malaysia must ask for 40%. The greatest example was the price of water to Singapore. It was a few cents and Mahathir asked for $3 for a starting price, I could not remember the exact figure. And when Singapore tried to negotiate, the price was raised to more than $10 and even higher everytime Singapore try to negotiate for a more reasonable price. This is what tough meant to Mahathir. Actually it is not tough. It is sheer stupidity. It is an approach that says he would not want to sign any agreement unless it is on his terms. In any business or bilateral agreement, how could any party think that an agreement can be signed on a one sided terms. To go forward, to negotiate any deals, the premise must be that both parties are comfortable with the deal and see benefits in them in an equitable manner. And that was exactly what happened when Najib and Hsien Loong met. And a deal was done. So, in the eyes of Anwar and Mahathir, and those who have been programmed to be tough, Najib must be soft. How to go forward like dat? PS. The best part is that after signing every deal that they had thoroughly studied in details before signing, they will come back and say they had a raw deal. That they were cheated.