Sunday, November 05, 2006

Royal demolition order

I generally don't think much of what Malaysian Sultans say, especially the Sultan of Johor due to his chequered past.

But I have to agree with him on his call yesterday to scrap the 83-year-old causeway. According to Malaysiakini and The Star, he said the causeway was undermining the state's economy and was a vestige of colonialism. He said the causeway, which blocks the natural flow of water in the Straits of Johor, must go and allow ships to go through.

Finally, someone prominent has come out to support former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's idea of a new bridge to replace the causeway. Ironically, the Sultan had earlier said Dr Mahathir should shut up after his retirement!

Anyway, it won't be easy for Malaysia to do away with the causeway as it will need the blessing of Singapore, which owns half of the land-based causeway. KL's cancellation of the bridge project following disagreements with Singapore was the proverbial last straw for Dr Mahathir, who then launched his tirade against his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

It's not too late for Malaysia and Singapore to go back to the negotiating table!

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