Monday, May 01, 2006

Secret Sand Supremo

After he had shown the public the Goh Chok Tong’s letters, demolishing the cabinet’s arguments about international laws being the reason for abandoning the Johor Straits bridge project, Dr Mahthir provided “THE” reason why the bridge was abandoned.

He said someone in Malaysia wanted the sand issue tied in, so that he (that unnamed person) could corner the market in selling sand to Singapore. I heard that it would be a multi-billion ringgit business.

Mahathir said: “Fuzi’s rambling explanation about the bridge over the Tebrau Straits on April 25, 2006, serves only to convince that the government’s priority and intention is to sell sand to Singapore.”

[Fuzi is Tan Sri Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak, a former secretary-general of the foreign ministry and currently Malaysia’s ambassador-at-large and PM Abdullah Badawi’s spoke person for the bridge fiasco] - my underlining & bolding in above paragraph

Mahathir showed that the Malaysian government had argued the bridge would not be built if it was not allowed to sell sand to Singapore – blaming the demand on the city-state.

Pressing on his attack, he said: “The reasoning why the bridge cannot be built comes later and it was not convincing at all.”

He then went on to attack a particular Malaysian leader without mentioning his name.

“All in all it is clear that the Malaysian government is more interested in selling sand to Singapore than to build the bridge. This keenness to sell sand is strange for Malaysia does not need the proceeds from sale of sand. Despite my alleged profligate ways when I was PM, Malaysia is not so bankrupt that it has to depend on selling sand.”

“That any Malaysian leader should not shudder in horror at the idea of scraping one billion square metres from Malaysian seabeds continuously over a period of 20 years, thereby destroying all the fish breeding grounds of Malaysian seas, depriving Malaysian fishermen of their livelihood, destroying Malaysia’s marine ecology defies the imagination.”

“That there should be any Malaysian leader willing to entertain this idea, to destroy Malaysian seas to satisfy Singapore speaks badly of his love for his country.”

Hmmm, I wonder who could that person be, that is so powerful as to consider cornering the sand-to-Singapore market and be able to persuade the Singaporeans to raise the issue?

Meanwhile Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang called on the Anti-Corruption Agency to open investigation into Dr Mahathir’s allegation of a situation of conflict-of-interest where a Malaysian leader had wanted to sell sand to Singapore. He said that the ACA can start off the probe by interviewing Mahathir for full details and particulars of his allegation against the unnamed Malaysian leader.

He also added “I challenge the ACA to ‘walk the talk’ of its so-claimed new ‘pro-active’ approach to prevent any misappropriation, delay or graft in projects under the 9MP by opening investigations into the RM250 million quarantine, immigration and customs complex (QIC) landbridge/flyover contract, which has been awarded to Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd without tender.”

Lim Kit Siang is dreaming of course but he has to go through the drills of an opposition member of parliament.

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