5/23/2009

The warming up after the thaw

Singapore's relationship with Malaysia was mended and set in order during the premiership of Badawi. After several decades of Mahathirism, when relationship between the two states went on a roller coastal ride, of extreme highs and lows, but mostly lows, it took Badawi several years to thaw the thick ice built by his predecessor. The last few days we have played host to Najib in a much friendlier atmosphere with great promises of more cooperation and cosying up to each other in economic and international affairs. Badawi took a brave stand to dismantle the crooked bridge that was more a hindrance than an improvement in facilitating communication of goods and people through the causeway. If it was allowed to replace the causeway, it would become a major obstacle course for the people trying to cross the Straits of Johore. It is near impossible to think of walking across as conveniently as what they are doing now. Najib has more or less driven the last nail to this bizarre concept of a crooked bridge. The possibility of a widen causeway, the most logical and economical option, is now on the table. But a bridge still must be built and Najib offers a more logical and sensible proposal, a new bridge to the east of the causeway to facilitate and promote economic development and growth to a neglected region. The south eastern corner of Johore offers huge potential for development and tourism. Both the widening of the causeway, a new bridge in the east, are practical proposals that will surely be met with equal enthusiasm from the Singapore side. Throughout Najib's visit, the undertone of the message coming through is one of a very careful and pragmatic man wanting better cooperation and relations that will benefit the people of both countries. Najib is looking into a new future, taking off from a stronger foundation laid by Badawi instead of going back in time to a creaking structure of Mahathir. From the reactions of the Singapore side, my assessment is that Najib will be a welcomed PM to build better ties, and his proposals will be taken up seriously. He is the best bet to continue the work of Badawi and for the two countries to mend ties and move forward together. The question is whether the Mahathirism that is still alive in many of his cabinet members and in Johore will allow Najib to open up a new era of cooperation and mutual prosperity between the two countries. Have the bad blood been cleansed? If not, Najib would need a major blood transfusion exercise to clear his administration before he can move forward with his new vision and style of govt. The future of better ties is much more brighter. The thaw is now warming up. This is a great moment to seize for both Hsien Loong and Najib to quickly move forward and dismiss the past to history.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Despite all the bad publicity across the causeway for Najib, I think he makes a much better PM than the old man who is anti Singapore and who seem to have a very heavy chip on his shoulder and a big axe to grind with us. The suggestion to widen the causeway and the possibility of a bridge for the eastern part of Johore and Singapore is practical and reasonable. No crooked ideas and crooked bridges. Hope the bridge will come soon so when I drive to the eastern Johore and visit the great offshore islands, it will be a shorter and more pleasant trip.

I think there is plenty of nice scenery to shoot with our cams there.

Novice.

Speedwing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
redbean said...

you are damn right novice. the east coast is a great escape from city life. and great scenery. ya, good photo shoot opportunities. maybe we shall organise a trip for the photographic buff one day.

najib came out as a more contemplative pm. more pragmatic and less emotional.

Anonymous said...

if you dun want your backsides screwed, stay away from malaysia.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The root of the problem is, and always will be UMNO.

[234p9goppovsdfkjbjk1284950-456-054872$$55%%***]

The jibberish above is all the vulgarity, insults, anti-religious blasphemy, evil curses, racial epithets, which I would like to write about UMNO but would result in redbean deleting my post. I leave it to the readers to use their imagination.

Anonymous said...

Good relationship is good for Malaysia and Singapore. In his eagerness to please, I hope Najib will not give away too much. In dealing with Singapore, one must always look for hidden agendas. Singaporeans are used to "head I win, tail you lose" scenarios. I hope Najib sends a good negotiating team for any deals.

Anonymous said...

they desparately need your money now, so all the big smiles and extra firm handshakes;

when you are no longer of use to them, or after you have parted with your money, aha.. hahaha..
good luck!

Anonymous said...

Are you talking about Malaysia or Singapore?

Anonymous said...

what do you think?

Anonymous said...

Singapore of course !!! Need we ask ???

Anonymous said...

No negotiation needed.
Just give Mas Selamat as a gift to malaysia and start building straight bridge ! No more NATO.

Anonymous said...

SG & MY currently have two above ground connections. Insead of a bridge, should we built a tunnel under the sea. Hongkong to Kowloon have undersea tunnels. similarly Britian and France are linked undersea.

Anonymous said...

anon 9:08 PM
"Singapore of course !!! Need we ask ???"


your over indulgence with expletives only serves to suggests that you must be a mountain goat from the north with abnormal testorones, nothing more to that. i assure you that i can understand your inferiority complex, it is perfectly fine by me. ;-)

redbean said...

let me add on two points raised. in a negotiation for a project, both sides should negotiate for the best in the interest of their sides. and a common point will be reached when both parties feel that it is acceptable, and sign. up to this point all is fair.

when the project turns out to favour none more than the other could be due to many factors. both parties could work and develop on the project to max their benefits. if one party fails or benefit less, sometimes it is due to their own doings. not doing enough.

the bridge?

whether there is a bridge or a tunnel or whatever must be rationally conceived based on the needs and costs. if one starts on the premise that there must be a bridge for no reason, then the need for the bridge is a suspect.

govt cannot spend millions and billions on projects without considering the benefits and returns. public money should not be spent on white elephants.

building whatever should be carefully considered.

Matilah_Singapura said...

You guys are not getting it.

It is in the interest of political leaders on BOTH sides to have a degree of "friction" in their relationships.

They do this to as to make control of you half-awake Sheeple easier for them. All they have to declare is some sort of "diplomatic situation", and they will clamp down on all your freedoms citing "internal security" or "the rule of law" as reasons.

And you have no fucking choice in the matter. You disobey, you'll go to jail, get fucked in the ass (for pleasure), then caned on the ass (as punishment for treason).

OTOH, having friction in the political realm is great. If the people are friendly and trusting with each other, that UNDERMINES any kind of treachery by the governments to CREATE DIVISIONS.

The people of America kicked out the Brits because they came together (they were vastly divided along mostly religious lines at the time) and COOPERATED with each other. That was seen by the enemy — The Brits — as COLLUSION, and criminal conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

"SG & MY currently have two above ground connections. "

You have to understand the economic connection of why underground bridge will never happen because Singapore government will never allow that to happen, let's alone think about it. By making the causeway underground, it create a opportunity for ships to cross through the causeways using Malaysia port facility deviating the need to enter Singpoare to use their costly facilities. Where it comes to lose billions business, do u think SIN will give in ?

Anonymous said...

Don't read too much into the wayang now and then.

Some people are always more prone to running amok once in a while. At one time they were threatening to cut off our water supply whenever there is a dispute. Now they know it will no longer work and they never resort to using this ruse again.

It is an inborn trait and can never change, whoever calls the shots over there.

So, wait and see.

Lost Citizen

redbean said...

too much historical baggages, too many politicians with their fingers in it, now easy to strike a clear path and dismiss all the monkeys on his back.

i must agree that najib would want to carve a name for himself. he is going to try. but will he succeed or be dragged back to umno and bumiputra politics?

badawi tried and met with some success. but the price he paid was quite high. in the later part of his administration he was nearly castrated. but credit must be given to him for daring mahathir and aborted the crooked bridge and several other white elephants.