Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Right Idea In Wrong Hands

Iskandar irritates the hell out of me.
I am referring to the Wilayah Pembangunan Singapura Utara of course, otherwise known as SJER.(Apparently, the Singaporeans have taken to calling SJER by the affectionate name Iskandar. Maklumlaaaah... it's their newest acquisition. Mesti la sayang)
Iskandar bugs me still, even though I have already ranted and raved about it in my previous posting. It bugs me because of the stupidity of the HP6 government in inviting a competitor to serve as our advisor. Do these people really believe that our competitor will advise in our best interest? Of course not! They are our competitors!
Now when has Singa-pura-pura ever been benevolent towards us? We asked for an increase in the price of water pun they make a big deal out of it. We want to build a bridge that would allow free flow of water in the Tebrau Straits, they don't agree.Why? Because it will affect their competitiveness! They are forever competing with us. It is no secret that Singapore is an insecure pygmy city state, always in survival mode, forever having the siege mentality. Even its Minister Mental...I mean Mentor... has alluded to as much on a number of occasions. Why as recently as a week before the famous Langkawi humiliation, LKY was shooting his mouth off again saying the damn red dot is "More special" than countries around it.
Now what on earth makes anyone think that a week later Singa pura-pura's world view has changed?; that it now sees Malaysia as an equal, a partner with whom it can share knowledge and expertise, sama-sama bahagia membina rumahtangga??
Please la. How can we be so gullible. I can almost hear the collective laughter of Kiasu Lion-ites across the causeway, as they salivate over their own piece of the Malaysian pie.
It really is quite a tragedy.
Iskandar was, I suppose, a good idea. It puts us head to head to compete against Singapura-pura, and damn it we had a good shot to win. For instance, if iskandar was designated a special zone with a special tax structure as well as additional incentives for capital investments with no restrictions on repatriation of funds, that could easily be a major draw for foreign businesses operating in the red dot to move to South Johore. They would want to take full advantage of a new 'tax haven' of sorts (even if exemption was for just the first ten year period) because it's a huge chunk of savings. And after ten years, we can offer other incentives to keep them here, although perhaps we don't need to, because it would be too expensive for them to move back to Singa pura-pura by then anyway. That's just one tiny, simple example.
My point is that Iskandar could have been fantastic for us. It was after all an idea hatched during TDM's time, although YDP said "ini idea saya" just coz he crystallized an already existing concept. Whatever. Let him have the credit. Takpa. Ambik lah.
but coming back to Iskandar, one fails to see the rationale of inviting a hungry competitive predator to play in our chicken coop. It's hardly likely the predator will teach us how to raise our chickens. even if it did, it'll just devour the chickens when they're fat and grown. This is what happens when a good idea is left in the bloody wrong hands of bumbling idiots.
As one of my friends eloquently put it: It's like a pretty young girl, accosted by a salivating, drooling, lustful (but polite) man who says "Excuse me miss. I live next door and I've been eyeing your delicious looking rear end for some time now. I was wondering, would you be so kind as to let me rape you?". Then, against all odds, the girl says "Why, how nice of you to ask, sir. Here." as she spreads her legs and bends over.
Now I wouldn't use such a crude analogy, but the lesson there is spot on. Why are we letting them eat us alive? (sigh...)
Many bloggers have commented already on this and I don't think I should ramble on, frustrated as hell though I may be. So I just want to make one last parting plea, before I leave this subject for good.
Dear, dear powers that be. Please wake up. It was bad enough when we had the enemy at the gates. You've gone one step farther and let them in. It's bad enough that you remove all restrictions on property/land ownership by foreigners for property worth more than RM200K. (This has resulted in skyrocketing property prices well beyond the means of average Malaysians, particularly Malays. It looks good on paper, but its bad news in the long run. What if Tema-sick bought chunks of property in prime land everywhere and we can never buy them back? We will have literally SOLD our country) Now you plan to let them have a say on how we build and develop a region that BELONGS TO US -Not disputed territory, Not that craggy outpost called pulau batu putih (come to think of it , even THAT pun Singapura-pura takmo kasi kat kita.. ceh.). This is our land, pure and simple, free from any encumbrances, so to speak. So why have you brought other people in to 'help' us decide how to develop it?
Please o mighty Khairrr... I mean Powers that Be... leave your love for your Master Lion aside and let Malaysians have a wee bit of dignity, as this poor nation of ours turns 50. It's not too late to put a stop to this. please abort. Don't let this golden jubilee be the tragic year that Malaysia ends and Semenanjung Temasek comes into being.

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