Thursday, April 16, 2009

Crooked once more

Malaysian politics is complex, yet simple. There is probably a lot more wayang behind the scenes even as Najib Tun Razak is trying to get a grip on loyalty within UMNO, fire-fighting local quarrels (e.g. Terengganu), paring the Opposition PKR and considering some Johor political bigwigs' suggestion of resurrecting the crooked bridge idea across the Johore Straits hatched during Mahathir's reign as supremo.

The simple part? Najib appears to be beholden to Mahathir. He appointed Mahathir's son, the worst loser of the UMNO Youth contest, to a deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry. Mahathir appears to be cashing in his other chips early. He probably wants the crooked bridge project back on the table after unceremoniously being dumped by former PM Abdullah Badawi, much to the delight of the Singaporeans, who prefer things to be straight and clear.

But unfortunately, the crooked bridge proposal just wouldn't go away and alleged crooks like Najib Razak may, naturally, build it. If it is realised, it will stand as an infamous symbol of stupidity and waste by the Malaysian government. That will be Dr M's ultimate legacy to the country. Well, frankly, if he doesn't mind the infamy, the waste of the people's (from both sides of the Causeway) time and money, and the derisive laughter of the international community for generations to come, he and his cronies can go ahead and build their half of the bridge, however crooked.