Mahathir Tries To Force Through Causeway 3rd Link Bridge Deal By Revisiting Water Agreement Prices

You know when you were a child and you really, reaaaaally wanted that giant Gundam figure but your parents refused to buy it for you, so you sat on the floor, cried, and made a general nuisance of yourself until your parents either gave in or whooped your ass?

No, the latter part does not describe Malaysia’s long-serving Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir. However, he does really, really want another bridge connecting Malaysia to Singapore.

Even if it means he has to use a decades-old water agreement as leverage.

Mahathir’s water (dis)agreement

Singaporeans received some good news on Thursday (31 Oct) – the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link will go ahead.

Singaporeans travelling to J.B. be like:

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But that wasn’t all of the news from Thursday.

Dr. Mahathir also chose this moment to tackle a deep-seated desire that’s existed since his first stint as Prime Minister of Malaysia: his desire for a crooked bridge.

Malay Mail reports Dr. Mahathir’s “bewilderment” over Singapore’s refusal to build that darn crooked bridge, even though Malaysia supplies cheap water to us.

He also reportedly incredulous that Singapore was benefiting from the water deal disproportionately at the expense of Malaysia, yet refuses to build the 3rd Link.

Yep, it’s that darn water agreement argument again. Dr. Mahathir has brought up the 1962 Water Agreement several times since he returned as Prime Minister in 2018, and again wants to re-look the deal soon.

But we’re starting to see why he keeps harping on the issue, and why the timing coincides with our Causeway neighbours agreeing to build the RTS Link – which only yesterday morning was alleged to not be going ahead.

Dr. M: Water you waiting for, Singapore?

Dr. M once again reiterated the necessity for a new bridge, as the RTS Link will not be sufficient to ease congestion to and from Johor Bahru, especially during the festive season.

He cites the fact that motorcyclists cannot use the RTS as a reason, and therefore only a commuter bridge will do.

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However, there appears to be no plans from Singapore to proceed with plans for another bridge, preferring instead to explore options like the RTS – which will ferry 10,000 commuters an hour.

Whether any deal regarding the Water Agreement will take place is also anyone’s guess, as Mahathir continues to try to use it as a bargaining chip to get his bridge.

We see water you’re up to, Dr. M.

Featured image adapted from President of Russia and Wikipedia.