So PM AAB claimed that he had to cancel the bridge for a couple of reasons that Malaysian public have found offensive: Singapore having the nerve to (1) demand purchase of our sand and (2) ask for its air force the right to fly in our sovereign airspace. See my earlier posting Singaporean Air Bridge for Malaysian Broken Bridge.
Then he said it’s an issue of legality involved in the re-positioning of the water pipes and rail tracks.
Malaysians don’t want to sell sand to Singapore because they claimed Singapore has a nasty intention, by re-claiming land towards the direction of Malaysia, therefore changing the sea boundaries. Malaysians also don’t want Singapore fighter jets zooming over our airspace, and getting familiar with our vital points.
One is an issue of commerce, and we can tell the Sings to bugger off; the other is a sovereignty issue, likewise we can tell Sings no-can-do!
So why use those two excuses to cancel the bridge when DPM Najib had given warning to Singapore that if the Island nation doesn’t join the bridge club, Malaysia will start curving the bridge to meet the Singapore portion of the causeway? In other words, the bridge situation was in our favour all along – no need to sell sand, don't have to see SAF jets over our roofs, the bridge could have continued until it reaches the Singapore end of the causeway. And Mahathir, Najib and Foreign Minister Syed Hamid all had been satisfied with the legal issues.
Who has lost mucho face in this episode? I reckon the man who had warned Singapore – namely DPM Najib.
Yes, after the PM had cancelled the bridge construction [not a bad thing in itself], catching almost everyone by surprise, I can read in Najib's plaintive cry that one day Singapore would accept the bridge as a good thing, as his last feeble grasp at some face saving gesture from the debacle, a debacle that he had put his political imprimatur on when he warned thr Singaporeans of a dateline to join in constructing a straight bridge, before it becomes too late to prevent the bridge from changing into a curving one.
I speculate that by what would be seen as an undermining of his authority [after having warned Singapore about the dateline for a straight bridge], he has been deliberately marooned with mud in his face. Would his credibility in UMNO continue to be as solid? I wonder whom the Singaporeans have to thank for being on their side, to bring about the dramatic 180 degrees swing in PM AAB’s decision?
I don’t believe PM AAB change-of-mind had anything to do with public feelings, or he would have cancelled PORR which the Penang people has been clamouring for. Would it be an UMNO internal manoeuvring which thus far has seen Najib’s nose battered. Could this be the start of the UMNO internecine insurrection we have been hearing of from so many political pundits?
A Bridge Too Far – Act of War!