Thursday, June 12, 2008
Cancellation of Crooked Bridge - chetdet.com
I have been asked to please expose all that I know about the misuse of the Rakyat’s money.
In response to the above request I would like to identify initially four of the instances where the Government of Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has misused public money.
What I write here would not be based on speculation or suppositions or possibilities. They are the things which are public knowledge and can be verified.
I need to explain in detail. So I will deal with one subject at a time.
However, I list below the four specific instances;
1. The cancellation of the bridge to replace the Malaysian part of the Johore Causeway
2. The postponement of the double-tracking and electrification of the railway line from Johor Baru to Padang Besar
3. The sale of M.V. Agusta for one Euro
4. Wang Ehsan which has been expended on Terengganu which the new Menteri Besar claims is not Wang Ehsan but Federal Fund.
Cancellation of the Bridge to Singapore
The Singapore Government had not objected to the building of the Malaysian bridge to replace the Malaysian half of the causeway.
This bridge would be 25 metres above the water to allow for small ships to pass through after removal of the Malaysian half of the causeway. The Second Link is also 25 meters above the water surface. So the vessels can pass through the Tebrau Straits without obstruction by the causeway.
This bridge is very essential as the traffic in Johor Baru has increased and there is a permanent traffic jam caused by the North-South flow to and from the causeway and the East-West flow between the Eastern and Western parts of Johor Baru. An elevated road is needed to be built above the East-West traffic for access to and from the causeway. Such a road would result in a part of the Johor end of the causeway becoming useless as the elevated road must land some distance from where the causeway joins the mainland.
A full-length bridge to Singapore would enable a gradual rise for lorries to climb and boats to pass underneath after the causeway is removed. Since Singapore refused to jointly construct a straight bridge to replace the causeway, a bridge with 25 meters clearance for boats to pass has got to be long enough for lorries to make a gradual climb.
The answer was to lengthen the bridge by a curved design. As for the railway line a swing bridge can be opened or closed for ships or trains to pass through.
To cut a long story short work on the curved bridge was stopped so that Dato Seri Abdullah’s Government could offer to sell 1 billion cubic metres of sand, and overflight rights for Singapore military aircraft over Johor Baru if Singapore agreed to a straight bridge.
Someone stood to make a lot of money selling 50 million cubic metres of sand per year for 20 years to Singapore for land reclamation. This was a very attractive offer as the reclaimed land can sell for 3,000-5,000 Singapore dollars (about RM6,000-RM10,000) per square metre. The Singapore Government stood to make an enormous amount of money selling this land.
They therefore agreed to the straight bridge. That dredging sand from the seabed would cause erosion of the coast, destruction of fish breeding grounds and deprive Johore fishermen of their livelihood were not of concern to the Government of Dato Seri Abdullah.
Fortunately the Johor people misbehaved.
They objected to selling sand and overflights.
Abdullah frustrated that his scheme was blocked then punished the Johore people by cancelling the bridge project altogether. No straight bridge, no curve bridge either.
The result is that more than RM1 billion have been wasted building the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities, foundation and work on a new railway station, pilings and preliminary works on the road linking the CIQ to the bridge and compensations to the contractors because of the cancellation of the projects.
The CIQ building is now a white elephant, unused and yet have to be maintained costing hundreds of thousands of Ringgit a month.
Clearly Dato Seri Abdullah has wasted public money. All because he was angry with the Johor people for not enabling one billion cubic metres of sand to be sold to Singapore and the profits thereof.