Will It Be Crooked Or Straight May 23, 2009Posted by malaysianstory in A New Chapter, Najib Tun Razak, Pak Lah.
Tags: Malaysian Story, Najib Tun Razak, The Crooked or Straight Bridge
Utusan Malaysia front-page report today (May22) read The Causeway To Be Demolished?
The report further said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would highlight the need and importance to build a bridge replacing the century-old Johore causeway during his meeting with his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong in the island republic.
Najib is now on a two-day official visit to Singapore (May21 and May22).
He told the Singapore Straits Times in a special interview that logically, “we need to change to develop, progress means development, communications and better transportation networking between Singapore and Malaysia.
“And if that means we have to replace the causeway, I think you are correct in that sense,” Najib was quoted as saying.
The statement literally means that Najib wants the controversial crooked or scenic bridge mooted by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed when he was Prime Minister but later abandoned by his successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to become a reality.
Tun Mahathir unveiled the plan for the bridge to replace half the 500-m causeway between the neighbours in 2003, after Singapore rejected a plan to jointly build a bridge to replace the entire causeway.
Malaysia said its bridge, called the “crooked” bridge because of its convoluted design, would boost traffic flow and eases jams on its side of the 81-year-old causeway, allow ships to pass beneath and improve water quality by unblocking the strait.
The bridge is one of many issues that had strained ties between Malaysia and Singapore since their union ended.
The cost of building the bridge must have ballooned if it were constructed now. But how much will it cost if it were to build 20 years later.
The 500m causeway was built in 1928 to cater for traffic during that time. But it is 2009 now and the causeway is choking with traffic.
The bridge could have been completed and operational on April 1 if it was built according to plans.
But who was behind all the mess and cancellation of the project? None other than Pak Lah and his stooges.
I remember Najib, who Deputy Prime Minister then, saying on March 18, 2006, that Malaysia was committed to building the bridge on its side of the border in the Tebrau Straits.
“This is our right. Nobody can question or deny us this right as a sovereign country. The Government is committed to building the bridge,” he was quoted saying in the New Straits Times.
However, Pak Lah, who was then the Prime Minister, shocked the nation when a month later said that the government would not proceed with the bridge project..
Pak lah and his spin doctors on Level 4 had prepared arguments on why the bridge could not be proceeded.
“Problem will arise and when we have to cut the Causeway, the water pipes and railway track and connect them to the new bridge. The problems will continue,” he said.
What problem was he talking about when the then Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong had in a letter to Pak Lah on April 11, 2002, had expressed agreement and recognition by the Republic of Malaysia’s right to build a bridge “just your side of the causeway”, that is to say the right to build a “half bridge” on our side.
There are other circumstances which I will elaborate later why Pak Lah had to hastily announced the cancellation of the bridge project.
Well, the people are not stupid. The ball is in Najib’s court now and we hope he will make a decision in the interest of the people and not his.