P M Datuk Seri Abdullah’s DEPARTMENT REPLIES TO ALLEGATIONS on SCENIC BRIDGE – Documents DECLASSIFIED on Crooked Bridge; FACTS & CONCLUSIONS GIVEN
What we have been witnessing along the past months is Dr Mahathir trying very hard to establish the truth to the questions. He is stating his facts, and you believe facts to be true? Therefore, it becomes an absolute, and that moves it into an expression of a truth, his truth.
Therefore, when Dr Mahathir spoke for his truth, the conflict is when other people also speak of their truth, that we want their truth to be our truth or vice versa.
There is no absolute, everyone speaks from his or her own truth. The point is you speak from your own beliefs, your own expressed beliefs and from the information and “facts” that you have. But facts are changing.. There are truths and there is the definition of a truth. A truth is some expression, which is translatable in every area of consciousness in some manner.
But our PM Datuk Seri Abdullah is a pragmatist. There are truths which are unchanging. But pragmatists do not believe in unchanging truths. All things, to the pragmatist, are changing; even truths. There is no truth within pragmatism! Our PM Abdullah is fully aware of the changing facts and is very much within his focus.
So with the support of the declassified documents, do we accept this new statement as the “absolute truth” of the matter in this scenic bridge saga?
the following is:
PM's Dept Replies To Dr M's Allegations On Scenic Bridge;
July 14, 2006 16:05 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 (Bernama) -- Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad recently made several allegations on the Government's decision to abort the construction of the "crooked bridge" to replace the Johor Causeway.
The Prime Minister's Department said the Government wanted to set out the facts and sketch the historical background in which the decision to abort the construction of the bridge was reached.
Below are the allegations, facts and conclusions released by the Prime Minister's Department pertaining to the matter;
ALLEGATION1: That the Singapore Government accepted
Once the bridge was completed, the Johor Causeway would be demolished. Dr Mahathir further proposed that if
Goh wrote: "...I had been prepared to make concessions in varying the Points of Agreement (POA) with extra pieces of land, allowing early withdrawal of Central Provident Fund (CPF) deposits and building our part of the bridge to replace the Causeway at our expense, as trade-offs, so that you give us airspace and future water at a fair price... Since you now want to deal with the water issue separately and discontinue the package approach, these trade-offs are no longer possible."
In effect, this letter signalled a return to a status quo position. Prime Minister Goh's statement was not challenged by Dr Mahathir. In fact, there was no reply to Prime Minister Goh's letter by Dr Mahathir.
It said: "... These negotiations on a package basis were unilaterally terminated by the then Prime Minister of
With the termination of the negotiations on the package of issues,
CONCLUSION: It is incorrect to say that
The Allegation2: That the letter from Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong on April 11 2002 was the final commitment by the republic on the bridge proposal by Malaysia.
The Facts: During negotiations between the two countries, there was an understanding that any proposal would not become final unless it was concluded in an agreement signed by leaders of Malaysia and Singapore. This was explained in a letter by Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew to then Minister of Special Functions & Minister of Finance, Tun Daim Zainuddin on August 24 2000.
The letter read: “To make it easier for us to write to each other, to test various options, all notes or letters I send to you or Mahathir, or vice-versa, will be treated as Without Prejudice: that there is no agreement until all points are agreed and signed by the two PMs.”
Conclusion: It is incorrect to say that Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong had given a commitment on the bridge in his letter on April 11 2002. There was no signed agreement between the PMs of Malaysia and Singapore on building the bridge.
ALLEGATION3: That the bridge was not part of the package of bilateral issues.
FACTS: At first, the outstanding package of issues only covered four areas - water, Central Provident Fund, airspace and the relocation of KTM's CIQ complex in
But later, the bridge project was inserted into the package of issues. Dr Mahathir did so in a letter to Senior Minister Lee on March 4 2002 and the bridge issue became one of five issues in the package titled "MALAYSIA-SINGAPORE PACKAGE OF FIVE ISSUES - MALAYSIA'S PROPOSALS"
CONCLUSION: The bridge became part of the package of unresolved bilateral issues as a result of Dr Mahathir's letter.
ALLEGATION4: That the government's decision to abort the bridge project will cause billions of ringgit in losses.
FACTS: The total cost of building the CIQ, the crooked bridge and the new KTM line across the Johor Straits was RM2.379 billion.
At this moment, the Government is still working out compensation payment to Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd. But the fact is that the decision to abort the bridge was not an economic decision. Once it became clear that
responsible decision to make.
CONCLUSION: It would not have been advisable to spend RM1.13 billion on a structure and be stuck in limbo over its use.
FACTS: Simply put, the Government had to make the right decision, taking into account the interests of Malaysians. It revisited the unilateral proposal by Dr Mahathir to build the crooked bridge but came to a finding that this was not an ideal solution.
A crooked bridge is not a legacy to leave for future Malaysians. In coming to its decision to abort the bridge project, the Government studied not only the Wayleave Agreements but also the Johor-Singapore Water Agreements 1961 and 1962, the Separation Agreement 1965 and took into consideration advice by the Attorney General's Chambers.
This is what the Attorney General's Chambers said: " ... the construction of the scenic half-bridge to replace the Malaysian side of the Johor Causeway must be studied in a holistic manner in view of the fact that the scenic half-bridge would have international legal implications in particular environmental impact to
"Apart from the above, the construction of the scenic half-bridge will involve the demolition of the Malaysian side of the Johor Causeway. The said demolition would directly affect the water pipeline located inside the Johor Causeway and water pipelines straddling the Johor Causeway. In this regard, legal implications thereof would have to be studied based on the 1961 and 1962, Johor-Singapore Water Agreements, Wayleave Agreements and Separation
CONCLUSION: With so much uncertainty, it made sense for the Government to take a step back and do the right thing. Running the Government is not about scoring points or engaging in brinkmanship. It is about weighing the pros and cons and reaching a decision that is good for
FACTS: The issue of allowing use of Malaysian airspace has been on the negotiating table between 1998 and 2002. Dr Mahathir himself inserted this issue in a letter to Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew on
The rights of Search and Rescue was offered on the basis of reciprocity and is consistent with international practice. As for Northern Transit Corridor, it only allows RSAF jets to transit over the
CONCLUSION: The use of Malaysian airspace was raised by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong during a meeting with Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on
Remember, as far as the Republic was concerned, it did not see the need for a bridge to replace the Causeway. It wanted something in return for agreeing to the bridge deal and requested for sand and the use of airspace.
But once it became clear that the Malaysian public was strongly opposed to selling any sand or allowing RSAF jets to use its airspace, the government moved firmly and made the only acceptable decision - it aborted the plan to build the bridge.
Going ahead to satisfy the two conditions the Republic put forward would have meant going against the wishes of many Malaysians. The Government has always stated that its decision is a political decision based on the sentiments, sovereignty and integrity of the people of
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Press Statement On Declassified Documents Pertaining To The Crooked Bridge
KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 (Bernama) -- Following is the full statement from the Prime Minister's Department on the declassified documents pertaining to the crooked bridge:
PRESS STATEMENT ON DECLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS PERTAINING TO THE CROOKED BRIDGE
The Government has declassified several relevant confidential documents and extracts thereof to allow Malaysians to understand why it has reached the decision to abort the bridge project to replace the Johor Causeway.
And in doing so, it has put the record straight on a string of allegations raised by the former Prime Minister, YABhg Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, namely that:
* the Singapore government accepted Malaysia's proposal to build a crooked bridge.
* the bridge was not part of the package of outstanding bilateral issues.
This is only the second time in recent history that information protected by the Official Secrets Act 1972 has been declassified and approved for public consumption - an indication of the Government's seriousness in wanting the people who voted it into power to have the full facts, so that they can appreciate why the Government decided to abort the bridge project.
In the package of documents released are correspondences between Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and two of
Also made public are extracts of the record of the meeting between Prime Minister Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Mr. Goh Chok Tong in
The contents of these documents contain three key facts:
1. Discussions with
Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad himself included this issue as a trade-off and as part of the package of issues to be resolved with
2. The sale of sand to
3. Comprehensive advice by the Attorney General's Chambers showed that
The main obstacle was that the construction of the crooked bridge will involve the demolition of the Malaysian side of the Johor Causeway. The said demolition would directly affect the water pipeline located inside the Johor Causeway and water pipelines straddling the Johor Causeway in which the ownership thereof vests with the Public Utilities Board of Singapore.
The Attorney General's Chambers also stated that under the 1961 and 1962 Johor-Singapore Water Agreements, "
The 1961 and 1962 Johor-Singapore Water Agreements are guaranteed under the 1965 Separation Agreement. The water pipelines located inside the Johor Causeway is governed by the 1961 Johor Singapore Water Agreement. Therefore, the provisions of the WayleaveAgreements which is applicable to the water pipelines straddling along the Johor Causeway is not applicable to the water pipeline located inside the Johor Causeway. These facts nullify the allegation that the water pipeline located inside the Johor Causeway could be relocated unilaterally after giving six months notice to
Taking into consideration these facts, the present Government had to make a firm decision to reject
In conclusion, the issue boils down to one simple fact -
The full straight bridge that was proposed by
Note: Please refer to Appendix A for further information.
Appendix A: (is SAME as the TOP Part)
Update:July 14, 2006 21:35 PM
Declassified Documents Not For Circulation, Says Samsudin
PUTRAJAYA, July 14 (Bernama) -- The confidential documents declassified by the government to explain its decision to abort the "scenic" bridge project are not meant for circulation to the public, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said Friday.
He said that usually when a document is declassified it would mean that it is not categorised as secret anymore and "if it is to be in the public domain, then I guess it will be accessible to people".
"But it will not mean that we will be circulating the Cabinet minutes all over the place, no way. That's not the way it is going to be, but information from it can be contained in any document that states it," he told reporters after presenting a cheque for RM5,000 from the Putrajaya Corporation to Mercy Malaysia representative Ir Imran Mahzan for victims of the recent earthquake in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Samsudin had earlier received pledges of donation from sponsors for the Putrajaya Treasure Hunt 2006 that will be held on July 23.
Earlier Friday, the Prime Minister's Department said in a statement that among the package of documents declassified are correspondence between former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and two former Singapore prime ministers, Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong, and extracts of the record of the meeting between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Goh in Kuala Lumpur in March last year.
The government had decided to declassify relevant confidential documents to reply to the questions posed by Dr Mahathir with regard to several issues, including the aborted "scenic" bridge to replace the Malaysian side of the Johor Causeway, the issuance of Approved Permits for car imports, the non-renewal of Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff's contract as Proton chief executive, and the sale of motorcycle maker MV Agusta SpA for one euro.
see also earlier posting: dated 30th June, which is quite similar to this new statement which has declassified documents
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