Archive for April, 2006

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We have crossed that bridge: PM

April 19, 2006

By Firdaus Abdullah and Sulok Tawie
news@nst.com.my

April 19 2006

KUCHING: Scrapping the building of a bridge to replace the Causeway was a unanimous Cabinet decision and the right thing to do, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday.

However, those who disputed it were free to do so, he added. The decision has received the backing of MPs, including Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang, and Umno Youth, which held its monthly executive committee meeting yesterday.

Abdullah’s predecessor, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who mooted the idea in 1996, has emerged as the strongest critic of the decision.

Abdullah said: “It has been decided. As far as the Government is concerned, it was a unanimous decision by the Cabinet. We believe we made the right decision. People are free to dispute.”

The Prime Minister was asked to comment on Dr Mahathir’s lament that the Government had made a mistake in scrapping the construction of the bridge.

Abdullah declined to answer questions on Dr Mahathir’s blistering attack on Monday.

Speaking at a Press Conference after declaring open Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s new campus complex in Kota Samarahan near here, Abdullah said: “(Foreign Minister Datuk Seri) Syed Hamid has already made a statement, I read it this morning. I have nothing to say on that (Dr Mahathir’s comments).”

Syed Hamid said the Government would never sell off the country and that the decision to scrap the project was “unanimously decided” by the Cabinet “after much deliberation, including on legal implications”.

“What the Government did was the best decision in the existing circumstances.

“Dr Mahathir must give a chance to the current leadership to do what is best in the circumstances.”

In disagreeing with Dr Mahathir’s contention that it was Malaysia’s sovereign right to build its own portion of the bridge, Syed Hamid had said: “We had gone through it very carefully and thoroughly. We just cannot act unilaterally.”

Source: Business Times

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