6/17/2009

Euphoria lost even before LKY is back

I read some of the comments in the ST about the responses and reactions of Malaysian politicians on the LKY visit. Khairy, Anwar and former minister Idris Haron and Johore MP Shahrir Samad were quoted and all were very negative. Even Najib's proposal of a third bridge was attacked as a useless idea. And Khairy stood firm in not selling sand to Singapore. Oh, according to Shahrir, the third bridge is unnecessary as the two bridges were not fully utilised. How come he did not say the crooked bridge was unnecessary for the same reasons? Anyway, Najib is going to have a hard time if his cabinet or MPs were to stand against him. Luckily the third bridge is not Singapore's idea. And the killing of the idea of selling sand to Singapore is as good as calling everything off. The LKY trip started very promising. Now it may become another wasted effort. No fairy tale ending. Just a fairy tale.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Redbean,

other than the diplomacies from the Malaysian Diplomatic Corp and Leaders, the Malaysian General Public appeared to spurn the Visit by the Elderly Singapore Statesman.

Were there expectation, euphoria and fairytale ? It was just plain diplomacies and protocols.

dotmy said...

I see it as Malaysian leaders finally wising up to the fact that when Singapore holds out a hand of friendship, be very, very, very suspicious :-)

redbean said...

hi dotmy,

i don't understand why when malaysia and spore go into a negotiation malaysia will end up the loser? i cannot accept the premises that malaysians are less able than singaporeans or singaporeans were all the time trying to con the malaysians and with great success.

let's look at the iskandar, a malaysian project. for it to be successful, it must be supported by the govt fully to make sure that the businesses run smoothly and profitably. and when this happens, there will be many foreigners, rich singaporeans too if they invested there, running around. there will be singaporeans buying properties, spending and pushing up the cost of living, singapore cars are going to create more jams. so some sector of the population will be unhappy. so would this be seen as foreigners and singaporeans having a good time at the expense of malaysians? is the iskandar project going to do malaysia in like what mahathir said?

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans or for this matter any nationality, will welcome tourists and foreign visitors.

But, when foreigners start settling down and drive up the cost of living, depriving the locals of space and job. The local will begin to get irritated and agitated.

What sense does it make to local when they lose out in job, space and worse; their consumption expenditures escalate.

dotmy said...

redbean, redbean that's why I say you don't understand the Malay psyche. The Malays are very possessive whn it comes to land. And with Singapore, there is the added complication caused by the abortive merger. The Malays especially the Johoreans see iskandar as nothing more than an a land grabbing attempt by Singapore. Some of them are still sore at having 'lost' Singapore (whether that perception is right or wrong is another matter). The Malays in Malaysia will always see the My-Sg relationship through the race prism. That is a sad fact, I agree for there can be a lot of synergies between our two countries. But for as long as the Malays will not let jettison this view, any cooperation will be very limited.

redbean said...

too many foreigners, too many foreign investments will lead to some resistance and tension. each country will need to strike out a balance.

as for the malay mindset vis a vis singapore and working with singapore, too much negative politicking over the years cannot be undone overnight. both sides will need time to seek a new common ground. this kind of things cannot be pushed.

what is dangerous and unconducive is for the malaysian govt to be consistent in its policies for investors to be clear of what they are in for.

Wally Buffet said...

In my mind, we have long ago abandoned the idea of serious and harmonic co-operation with Malaysia. The baggage is too heavy and like two people in a marriage, after divorce there can only be simple friendship and nothing else.

Whatever we do is perceived as having a racial connotation. It is fallacious to think that a change of government in Malaysia will herald closer co-operation or even, God forbid, a re merger.

The best course of action would be to remain very good friends, but not close with Malaysia. Forge our own destinies with other emerging economies like China and India. Arms length peaceful co-existence is the key to a long term relationship with our erstwhile countrymen. As the world becomes a global economy, it really doesn't matter that we are a tiny red dot in a turbulent sea so long as we have the wherewithal to repulse any ill conceived designs on our survival.

You do your thing and we do ours. That's the best mantra for such a love-hate relationship.

As for the IDR, rest assured that there are many who think like me. Don't - Don't sink one cent of investments up North. That swamp ain't no Shenzhen. The people of Shenzhen understands that Hong Kong Investors bring them prosperity and a quantum leap in the quality of life. The people of Johore, save for the politicians, views the IDR project as a land grabbing scam by their favourite whipping boy!

Thank the loud mouth for this mindset.

dotmy said...

The third bridge is now all but stillborn after the Johore Sultan weighed in today and rejected the proposal flat out. No birdge, no sand, no sand, no joint-venture projects in Iskandar. Unless most fairy tales, this one does not look like it is heading for a fairy tale ending. Like I said, it is sad for there is so much potential, but then maybe it is better this way. I have to agree with Wally. The baggage is indeed too heavy.