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4/14/2006

lim eng guan's questions on the crooked bridge

Johor's Bridge fiasco by Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) Apr 14, 2006 Media Statement Petaling Jaya - The cancellation of the scenic bridge is an expensive billion ringgit lesson for the BN government not to engage in reckless commercial adventurism that is contrary to professional and comprehensive planning and costing.... Finally Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had no choice but to back down and cancel the scenic bridge due to legal complications and implications as well as negative response of Malaysians towards the trade-off in sand and air-space concessions demanded by Singapore to agree to the construction of the bridge. The question on every Malaysian’s mind is why were these legal complications and implications not considered before the government undertook construction of the CIQ for nearly M$1.3B. As the New Straits Times reported that even if Malaysia were to build the crooked bridge on our side, we would have to get Singapore’s consent before we even touch one brick of the Causeway to link it to the bridge. What is the use of paying so much money to appoint legal experts if they fail to give the proper legal advice?... However there should be proper planning, discussions and costing. Amongst the main objections, were that the Singapore government that upholds transparency did not know the cost of the bridge nor comfortable with the opaque nature of the contract that is estimated at billions of Singapore dollars. The above quote is only a small part of Lim Eng Guan's question on the crooked bridge saga. His first point about wasting expensive legal fees for poor legal advice is valid but looking for answers to a commonsensical problem that do not even need legal advice. Any layman would be able to tell him that if you want to build a bridge into another person's land, you will need his persmission. A bridge has two ends, not one end hanging in the air. His other criticism about Singapore not knowing the actual cost of the bridge is a little naive. If I have no need for a bridge and no intention to build it, why would I spend millions of dollars asking for quotes and paying engineering and professional fees? All Singapore needs is a ballpark figure just for discussion. This is the key difference between the Malaysian and Singaporean approach to an objective issues. Singaporeans plan first and do later. And also pay later. The Malaysians in this case chose to do first and pay first, then think later.

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