Following is an article adapted from NST Online complete with responses by TTF (in blue):
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Singapore need at least three to four more bridges to facilitate traffic flow between the two countries, Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad said today.
However, he said that Singapore is against the construction of any more bridges between the two neighbours “for reasons that he does not understand,” Bernama reported.
TTF: When Mahathir talks such rubbish, ignore him.
I mean, I could present you with a well researched article to explain just why multiple bridges make no sense whatsoever to a republic such as Singapore, as land security threats will definitely be too big to contend with given that Singapore is a sovereign state that isn’t part of Malaysia and isn’t as adequate militarily both in terms of equipment and personnel.
Then, I could go on and on about population densities, the need for Singapore to regulate traffic inflow, the need to limit access during instances of emergency or unrest and the need to renegotiate maritime security borders and initiatives.
The list goes on.
But I won’t bother, because that’s precisely what Mahathir wants people like me to do.
Always remember, when he starts yappin’ about stuff like this, he’s simply trying to shift the conversation away from something.
The trick, of course, is to figure out what he’s trying to shift the conversation away from.
Hint: Let’s talk Ambiga, Clare Rewcastle Brown, Rameli Musa and the RM90 million and RM1.4 million blunders
NST Online continued…
The two countries are currently connected by the Causeway and the Tuas Second Link.
Dr Mahathir cited Penang, which is set to build a third link between the island and the mainland – in the form of a subterranean tunnel – even though traffic flow in the state is much lower than that between Malaysia and Singapore.
“Even Penang, which has a smaller population than Singapore… (wants a another link between the island) and the mainland.
“Traffic (between Malaysia and Singapore) is much bigger than Penang’s.
“(But) we only have one causeway and a bridge. We need at least three to four more bridges,” he said during a question-and-answer session at the Invest Malaysia 2019 event here, today.
TTF: Ok, this is going beyond merely talking rubbish.
It’s called “talking a helluva lot of rubbish.”
People must understand, that even before Lim Guan Eng became Chief Minister of Penang, the previous state administration had already conducted studies and found prospects of building a third “undersea” link unfeasible.
Guan Eng knew this, as did Ramasamy, Chow Kon Yeow and the whole Ching Bang involved one way or the other in the multibillion “land-for-tunnel” kickback scheme that traces all the way back to a company Guan Eng had shares in and several proxy concerns fronting as his ‘consultants’.
Basically, the tunnel project was simply an excuse to ‘legalise’ the handover of land as ‘payment’ to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) awarded the project.
Not only did the award break multiple procurement laws, it raised alarm when a Chinese state-owned firm purported to own stakes was discovered to have never had stakes and was merely the main contractor.
It was later discovered that the construction firm – China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd (CRCC) – was forced to stop work as it received only 5% (or a little over RM3mil) of the RM69mil value contracted since the project was awarded to the SPV in 2013.
That immediately brought to question delays by the parent company overlooking the SPV, Zenith Consortium, in paying CRCC given that the consortium had already received 5.67 acres of state land worth RM208 million and commenced luxury highrise projects worth RM800 million on a chunk of that land.
As a matter of fact, the SPV even undertook to pre-sell RM2.83 billion worth of state land illegally to facilitate the commencement of yet another RM15 billion project, meaning, it was more than able to pay CRCC.
To top it all up,on the 22ndof May 2017, the state’s (then) Public Works Committee Chairman, Lim Hock Seng, told an assembly sitting that a total of RM219.99 million was paid to the SPV and an independent consultant, the breakdown of which is as follows:
Payments made: Payment to Zenith : RM208.75 million Payment to HSS Integrated Sdn Bhd:RM11.23 million Overall: RM219.99 million
According to Lim, Zenith was paid the RM208.75 million to conduct feasibility studies and design works related to three paired roads, the cost breakdown of which is as follows:
Three main roads: Feasibility study: RM31.2 million Detailed design: RM177.4 million Overall: RM208.7 million (the amount Guan Eng says was paid by swapping land)
But the payment made no sense, as not only was the mysterious RM11.23 million to HSS Integrated never explained, the overall sum was leaps and bounds beyond what anyone would pay consultants for studies of such magnitude.
It slowly became clear that the Penang Undersea Tunnel project was nothing but a billion dollar kickback scheme involving Guan Eng and several Pakatan Harapan leaders to ‘hand over’ state land for free to proxy companies in return for a tunnel Guan Eng knew could never be built.
But to avoid you from discovering this, he got Zenith to withhold the complete release of reports related to feasibility and design studies conducted despite having paid RM208.75 million to the consortium for the reports a long, long time ago.
And believe me, you will never get to see the reports as long as Pakatan Harapan remains in power because as long as the reports remain hidden, people like Mahathir will always be able to say that “Penang is set to build a third link between the island and the mainland.”