Cabinet tomorrow should suspend the construction of the RM1.1 billion “crooked half-bridge” to replace Malaysia’s half of the Johore-Singapore causeway and propose a joint commission of eminent Malaysians and Singaporeans to make recommendations to resolve outstanding knotty issues between the two countries
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Tuesday): DAP welcomes the breakthrough achieved by the Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Singapore, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Goh Chok Tong yesterday to “think out of the box” to untie the “dead knots” between the two countries to resolve outstanding bilateral disputes.
The Cabinet tomorrow should take two steps to promote this new spirit of “relooking” at the outstanding Malaysia-Singapore differences, viz:
The Joint Commission of eminent Malaysians and Singaporeans should be empowered to focus on all the thorny differences between the two countries, which include:
The Joint Commission of Eminent Persons should also be empowered to “relook” at two issues which had been referred to third-party arbitration - the territorial dispute over Pulau Batu Puteh and reclamation works around Pulau Tekong.
Last September, multi-billionaire Tan Sri Robert Kuok said Malaysia and Singapore should try patching things up as the two nations still have to live like brothers in the next 100 or 200 years.
Robert Kuok noted that the 'brotherly spirit' between Malaysia and Singapore had been on the wane since the two countries separated 38 years ago but he was sure that things would be better if the two countries initiated moves to mend fences. He was optimistic that things would work out between the two countries, and urged the Malaysian government not to be swayed by emotions in resolving problems with Singapore.
DAP had supported Robert Kuok’s call that Malaysia and Singapore should try patching things up and a joint commission of eminent Malaysians and Singaporeans, probably headed by Robert Kuok, to make recommendations to restore good bilateral relations between the two governments and countries would set a good example of good neighbourliness and the ASEAN spirit of solidarity to the rest of the world – and save Malaysia, Singapore and ASEAN from the international shame of a crooked “bridge of infamy” to immortalize the small-mindedness of their leaders.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman