18 June, 2009

PM propose, Sultan dispose !

During a two-day official visit to Singapore, Najib has proposed to Singapore that a new bridge be built to link the eastern side of Johor to the island republic, the new bridge will help to further facilitate the movement of people and goods and services between both countries.

Both sides agreed to look at the proposal in the medium and long term and also agreed to commission a study to look at the bridge viability, Najib said, adding that the new bridge proposal was one of the outcomes of their bilateral meeting to further enhance the close cooperation between Malaysia and Singapore.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak's idea of a new bridge to link eastern Johor to Singapore has been embraced by Singapore.

The republic's nod for the project was conveyed by its minister mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, during his meeting with Najib.

"Singapore is keen on having the third bridge and it is something which we (Malaysia and Singapore) will pursue."

Najib, who is also finance minister, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop had been asked to jointly conduct a feasibility study on the project with his Singaporean counterpart.

They are expected to appoint a consultant and determine the projected cost.

The construction cost of the third bridge will be borne by both countries if it takes off.

In a move bound to be welcomed by Malaysians, regardless of their feelings for a third link to Singapore, the Sultan of Johor has given unpopular Prime Minister Najib Razak his due comeuppance by rejecting the proposed construction.

The Sultan of Johor Sultan Iskandar Ismail has rejected the proposed third bridge linking Malaysia and Singapore.

He did not give a reason for rejecting the proposal and only said that he did not agree with the proposed plan during his state assembly opening speech Thursday.

Tunku Mahkota Tunku Ibrahim Ismail read his speech and delivered the Sultan’s decree (titah) during the first state assembly held in Kota Iskandar here.

The Sultan’s impromptu decree caught everyone off-guard similar to when he vowed to reclaim Pulau Batu Puteh or Pedra Branca at the launch of the state assembly last year.

Sultan Iskandar is not unknown for his independent streak and hot temper.

But this time, his obstinacy and courage in going against the country’s chief executive has brought cheer and a glimmer of hope back to Malaysians, fed up with Najib’s bullying tactics.

The PM’s insistence on getting his way, particularly in the Perak crisis, has left the nation disgusted and depressed. Institutions like the police and the courts were roped in and the law ruthlessly bent to push through decisions supporting his political agenda.

Even the Perak Ruler Sultan Azlan was not spared, endorsing Najib’s coup d’etat that toppled the Pakatan Rakyat administration and plunging the state into indefinite political and economic turmoil.

In political theory, the definition of democracy is : By the people, for the people and of the people.

A satirical description of democracy that is doing rounds in Perak is ‘bye the people, far the people and off the people.

“This is a very good smack on the wrist for Najib. He hasn’t even completed three months in office, yet he has already abused and reduced to nothing our law and the reputation of our institutions. Like all bullies, it is about time that he realises that he is not omnipotent,” said a political analyst.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today "There is no final decision on the matter yet as we have to see whether the third bridge project is viable or not,"

"The government has not decided whether to go ahead with the proposed building of the third bridge linking Malaysia and Singapore."

"The matter was still at the proposal stage, and an indepth study must be carried out before implementing it to determine whether it would benefit both countries."

The prime minister said there was still a lot of time to discuss the matter with the Sultan and the Johor government to find the best solution if the proposed project were to proceed.



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