Najib's bridging initiative with S'pore
DATUK Seri Najib Razak's proposal for a third bridge linking Malaysia to the Singaporean island republic is more than just a proposed physical infrastructure. It's the prime minister's statement that he wants to get away from past legacies. It's his way of telling everyone that he wants to be seen and acknowledged as his own man.
In his third official visit to neighbouring countries, Najib made it known that he has certain ideas of his own which he wants to promote and execute. He's mindful of the history and significance of the countries he has visited and appears set to chart a new way forward.
He has so far called on Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and the latest, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
In line with the government's foreign policy, the next door neighbours are more than just trade and social partners. They are relatives in more ways than one.
Everyone knows how difficult the bridge issue has been between Malaysia and Singapore. There were statements and counter-statements and the issue had even caused rifts within the country. When former prime ministers Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi squared off over the issue, Najib, then deputy prime minister, found himself in the crossfire.
Much water still flows under the bridge. I like to think that Najib wants to leave some of the prickly issues behind and stamp his own mark on bilateral relations with Singapore. Najib and Hsien Loong have one common ground though -- they are both scions of prime ministers of their respective countries.
While they biologically and ideologically inherit some of their fathers' genes, I'm sure they both want to be seen to have their own will in shaping and guiding the destinies of their peoples' future.
The body language between Najib and Hsien Loong, if one can count on it, appeared to be positive and warm. The test before them is how much they can extricate themselves from the legacies (some might say shackles) of the past. It won't be easy.
When Najib proposed the idea of a third bridge, there was no immediate rejection from his counterpart. Instead, a ministerial committee would undertake joint studies to look into its feasibility. As for the Causeway, it won't be replaced. It may be widened instead, subject to further discussions between the neighbours.
Is this then the win-win formula that the two leaders were talking about? Each getting his way and yet not denying the other his say or desire. I'm not too sure if the idea of a third bridge had ever been broached before, but it has certainly raised eyebrows and set off renewed discussions on bridges, generally.-- by AHMAD A. TALIB
The writer is a blogger and can be reached at email@example.com
Yeah, right En Ahmad.
Perhaps the reason you came out with this story was just to suck up on somebody's butt or perhaps God made you man with golden heart. So pure and naive.
Of course body languages between the two would implied "warm gestures".
How do you expect people during a diplomatic talk to behave, if not that? They can't be slamming on each another can they?
They can't be calling each another's names can they?
They'll do that when they got in their car and blabber it out with their confidante.
And of course there won't be immediate rejection.
Who on earth would do that kind of silly thing during a bilateral talk. This region still consist of non-communist countries. Yet.
And stop being bullied by people who doesn't really respect you.
Ask Mahathir Mohammed why he dares to slammed the country during his office.