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Monday, 28 June 2010

The M-S Bridge


HRH the Sultan of Johor has publicly asked the government to reconsider construction of the infamous crooked bridge. Some bloggers have joined in the call on the government to do so. The bridge was conceived by the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia. PM Najib said, he will look into it.
When Dr. Mahathir mooted the idea, he wasn't just motivated by commercial impulses, i.e. some contractors will get rich with the project. The same will happen if the bridge is approved by PM Najib. DR Mahathir was also motivated by strategic reasons. We aren't sure if this is the case with PM Najib.
You can already see the contrasting approaches between the former and present PMs. Dr Mahathir was all for the agreement and details of transaction with Singapore be made public. PM Najib prefers doing things on the quiet which is discomforting to Malaysians in general. No disrespects to Singapore, but ordinary Malaysians have this perception that in making deals with Singapore, they are always steps ahead. With a reticent and prone to reversals and retractions PM leading our country, we aren't sure what PM Najib has got himself into.
Will the PM consider this royal call? It all depends on the agreement ratified between the PM of Singapore and Malaysia recently. Until details of the agreement are made public everyone is in the dark. We wish our PM is forthcoming in the details of the agreement. The devil is in the details.
Otherwise, this muted treatment of the agreement will be treated with suspicion. What took ages to be resolved can be settled in a few hours meeting. OUR MPs must ask the question and the PM cannot NOT answer their questions in parliament.
The POA inked by TUn Daim included certain outstanding items to be resolved. The basis for resolving the issues is of course the handling of the KTM land in Singapore. In all the land is 271 hectares in size which is about 654 acres. In exchange for developing the KTM land in accordance to the host country, all KTM activities will be relocated at a new mega terminal in Woodlands. That new centre is expected to be completed in 2011.
The 271 hectare KTM land comprising of lands in Tanjung Pagar, Kranji, Woodands and 3 lots in Bukit Timah will be jointly developed by a company known as M-S Pte Ltd- I suppose its Malaysia-Singapore Ltd. The company will be divided on a 60:40 ratio; the former being Malaysia's interests held upon trust by Khazanah Malaysia. I want to term it upon trust signaling that always, whatever Khazanah does, it's done for and in the interests of Malaysia. Lately, this basic idea behind mandates given to Khazanah seems to be violated at every turn and corner.
Now back to the original question to which PM Najib has said he will look into it. To my mind the crucial link will be in the construction of the Rapid Transit System (RTS) which will link Woodlands and Tanjung Puteri in Johor. Where will this RTS traverse? If it is build using the existing causeway as the land link, then, the answer as to whether the century old causeway will be demolished is academic. It will not be demolished if the RTS is build using the causeway as the link.
How will we solve this problem if PM Najib heeds the call by HRH Sultan of Johor and Johoreans in general? The possible solution I guess is to build an underwater channel linking Johor and Singapore. That will allow the causeway to be demolished and a new bridge constructed to link the two countries. But lets hear what engineers say about this.
Who will manage the new WTCP at Woodlands later? If it's done the Singapore way, it will be run purely on commercial principles with a view to profit making. Looking at this positively, it will galvanize KTMB into adopting a new business culture which hopefully will discipline KTMB into operating more efficiently and profitably. 
But, it will have to pay hefty service charges to the WTCP. It will make profit purely from operations as there will be no more assets to parlay with Singapore Inc.
Let's watch what happens.

18 comments:

Red Alfa 28 June 2010 at 14:09  

Salam Dato'

HRH Sultan Johor's public request may have ramifications - what's your take? Cetainly it's more than meets the eye! The project's either now a sure thing or will it be a spate of people losing their Datoships?

Classic case of Royalty muscle flexing ?

Another factor for PM making flip-flopping to yet new heights in his decision making?

schenker78 28 June 2010 at 14:30  

dato' sak,

why do we need to spend billions again so KTMB can run train through underground tunnel to singapore. Not economical. Just stop the train in JB. Just keep the KTMB land or sell it at current market price to them.

They should have planned for a STRAIGHT bridge in the first place.

Mahathir is not smart at all. Malaysia is the only country with crooked mind want to build crooked bridge.

My company Ranhill did build the embankment for crook bridge approach for almost rm10million package, I dont know how much the alibaba Turnkey company, Gerbang Perdana SB charged to JKR.

Mahathir dont know how to negotiate because of this EGO of 2 old man of Lee KY and dr.M

After spending billions compensating , they want to build again....I dont know what to say. 2019 is approaching with soaring debt.

schenker78 28 June 2010 at 14:33  

Not to forget, the distance of Tambak Johor is very short. I "dont know" why need billions to build is straight. Few hundred million is enough.

Anonymous,  28 June 2010 at 14:57  

S'pore wants 3rd world KTM network out of their city state..must be an eyesore seeing the ancient tech trains chugging into the ultra spick and span modern metropolis.

Placing the station at woodlands is only first step.

Msia is hungry for FDI..even tho its non productive property devt.And btw its not important whether it will materialise..the KPIs involves announcement of JVs etc.Its another example of Public Relations focussed mgmt prevalent these days.

So,don't worry...nothing will happen for a while yet.

But watch out for the RM 36 bil MRT..thats the final nail in our coffin.

Anonymous,  28 June 2010 at 15:00  

Don't look South lah..look towards Indonesia.Thats where the long term growth is.

Anonymous,  28 June 2010 at 15:06  

Isn't Dato ship very similar to our education?

In attempt to show good results standards are brought down..now everyone can get a few As.But generally,the real knowledge & understanding of subject is less.

Dato also same..dulu only the most senior givt servants can get Dato and that after years of service.Now,cos they give so many Datos to non Bumi businessman..they started giving to lower level govt servants,
Even 3rd man in state Police force also Dato.What a joke really...

Now I guess my old Dato also go down in value.So,Red Alfa..let them take back and revamp the whole system..

And scrapping PMR/UPSR is DPM's solution to that mess.Myb Sultan scrap Datoship too?

Anonymous,  28 June 2010 at 15:23  

The team at Iskandar have failed to manage cos they kept looking at S'pore.They have this mindset that only S'pore can kickstart Iskandar.They watch the Straits OF Johor praying that the S'poreans will sail into Iskandar by the boatloads.

They had this Shenzen mindset.But Shenzen itself have grown out of the cocoon.

Abu Dhabi have taken the best examples of Dubai and replicated into a city with much more resilience and focus.

PM..time for Iskandar to have an Xray..complete diagnosis and grow on the 7 key attributes.Don't just sit and pray that S'pore will help you meet ur KPIs.

Got to move and focus on your strengths.

Look to Indonesia lo..thats your bounty.

Anonymous,  28 June 2010 at 17:19  

The causeway will be demolished eventually. In all the hues and cries, people forget that Singapore DID NOT OBJECT TO DESTROYING THE CAUSEWAY in principle. Charges that SG did not want to destroy the causeway because it would mean losing port business was wild speculation. SG did not AGREE to Mahathir proposal because the numbers did not make sense. When the numbers made sense, they will agree to it. The problems AND issues of crooked bridge is all made up by Mahathir(ist).

Quiet Despair,  28 June 2010 at 17:25  

Bro Sak

Can we safely conclude if the bridge proposal goes trough, it will be Tun M's triumph.
When Najib came back from his Singapore meeting, Tun M was disappointed it was not even mentioned.
He sounded resigned. Of course he wasn't harsh to Najib as he did to Abdullah.
I see him smiling now. Maybe even gloating about it.

Anonymous,  28 June 2010 at 19:23  

Dato'

We have to keep in mind that whatever each and every Sultan wants built will not be based on economics.

Nothing wrong with that since the The term Royalty Connotes Opulence...

The Government's Role is to Balance Opulence with Prudence in spending.

We hope that is what DS Najib will do when he said he'll look into it.
Or Will He?





Joe Black

Damansara 28 June 2010 at 19:51  

I am forever grateful to Tun Abdullah Badawi for backstabbing our country via his decision to stop the scenic bridge.

I am equally grateful to all our leaders whom were super supportive to the stupid move made by Tun Abdullah.

Actually, if we put Tun Mahathir out of the equation, any Dungu will agree that the bridge idea was more than brilliant. It was of our upmost interest to demolish the bridge.

Unfortunate in this country, and we can find many of this species here, we always talk loud and big about the need to making the best decision for our country. We unashamedly use Singapore as THE YARSTICK.

Yet we conveniently let Singapore pee on our head by agreeing to stop the project.

arshad 29 June 2010 at 02:21  

Hi its really very nice blog i enjoyed a lot to visit..Mobile prices

Hazrey 29 June 2010 at 11:00  

Dato', the underwater tunnel may come into reality after all. Rumours has it that a strategic location around Kampung Pasir Puteh of Pasir Gudang has been identified to be the link to Punggol of Singapore.

Anonymous,  29 June 2010 at 11:27  

I like to say "Give us local Chinese a chance" but know full well that it will never happen. You hate us so that you prefer your "enemy" (S'pore) to clear up your mess, why don't you see that S'pore is today is partly due to the countless M'sian Chinese working or living in S'pore. You think S'pore Chinese were so smart 30+ years ago with their limited gene pool? Do you know how many ex-M'sian Chinese or PR's in HDB and MNC's. Even when they call us "lianpang lang", we still gave our best 'cos it is nothing compared to what you basturds do to us in Malaysia. So sad for Malaysia esp. those poor uneducated Chinese still trap. I hope they can find a way to get out ASAP and let you rape this forsaken land dry.

Anonymous,  29 June 2010 at 22:16  

Dato,

You said "......but ordinary Malaysians have this perception that in making deals with Singapore, they are always steps ahead."

What does that show?

A distrust of our own leaders. Also, our own leaders/cabinet ministers are bodoh....cannot negotiate at the international platform. Our leaders/cabinet ministers don't have education, otak udang pun boleh masuk kabinet. These goons buat malu aje.

One Foreign Minister, something Aman, already buat malu kat America with Hilary Clinton tak lama dulu.

Then, PM buat malu kat America with Obama. Kasi wang banyak2 baru dapat temu Obama 30 min.
Tak ade class lah.....

Lagi, suami najib gelar sendiri first lady. Badan macam army tank, muka tebal dengan make-up tu macam mana nak banding dengan first lady America. Michelle Obama badan kan sexy. Geli lah aku nampak foto Roastmah tu.

apa kata dato?

orang kampung

Anonymous,  29 June 2010 at 22:23  

Ah....Najib and the BN goons want to give the royalty opulence so that the royalty will obey whatever Najib & BN goons say.

Giving such a grand, opulent palace to the royals is a first step to get their buy-in and obedience. BN goons are being very manipulative here.


Shut the mouth of the royals so that BN can continue to rob the rakyat's coffer. Kalau tak buat gitu, mana boleh rompak wang rakyat?


Idris

Rakyat,  30 June 2010 at 17:54  

a new dimension of relationship. Interesting to know one of S'pore investment arms partnering with a telco controlled by VT, and witnessed by the "toothless tiger"

mobile prices in Pakistan 23 December 2010 at 16:00  

hai dato ... My one thing in mind that whatever each and every Sultan wants built will not be based on economics.

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