Kuala Lumpur – The intense criticism Prime Minister Najib Razak has suffered at the hands of Mahathir Mohamad stems from the issue of the Crooked Bridge that Najib refuses to see come to fruition but which the former premier sees as the ticket to Johor’s shipping prosperity, said Salleh Said Keruak.
In his blog posting, the Sabah State Legislature Speaker said the bridge, once up, would have allowed ships to sail through into Johor’s ports, thus boosting their import-export business.
He also said that this would inevitably mean that Singapore would have had to forgo a piece of their business pie, which they did not want to do.
“In short, the bridge will improve Malaysia’s import-export trade while it will take away the business from Singapore. So Malaysia will boom while Singapore’s business will decline. And this is why Singapore opposes the bridge and also why Malaysia needs the bridge.
“It all boils down to business rivalry between Singapore and Malaysia..”
He said Mahathir had argued that Johor could be the alternative to Singapore in regard to the shipping trade. “In fact, Johor can outgrow Singapore. But for that to happen the bridge first needs to be built,” Salleh said.
He said Mahathir starting pushing for the bridge much earlier on and back in 2006-2007, chided then PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, for not following through with his plans. Badawi eventually stepped down, allowing Najib Razak to take over the reins of leadership.
However the Crooked Bridge has still not materialised and for that reason, Najib too must suffer Badawi’s fate.
Referring to the lost opportunity to make Johor more prosperous that Singapore since both PMs had not budged when it came to building the Crooked Bridge, Salleh said, “And that is why Dr Mahathir insists that the bridge be built and if the Prime Minister does not also agree then he must be ousted and replaced.”