Home News Featured News Causeway mess: Good politics, bad diplomacy

Causeway mess: Good politics, bad diplomacy




- Advertisement -

Malaysia-Singapore relations, so assiduously nurtured by the two Prime Ministers, are in tatters as the Causeway became a scene of confusion with buses on both sides stopping services today. School children, workers and others were caught in the middle of a dispute triggered after Singapore increased the vehicle entry permit.

The Malaysians tried to introduce the permit fee on the other side of the Causeway, found out their move is discriminatory because their other border crossings in Sabah, Sarawak and the northern most part of Peninsular Malaysia do not have such a fee.

They then hiked the toll fees as a tool to hit back and the relations between the two countries are now in a mess.

Was there a need for Singapore to increase the permit fee in the first place, the first time since an adjustment was made in 2004? It was actually reduced then – yes, you read it correctly REDUCED — to increase the flow of tourist traffic into the country.

- Advertisement -

Singapore’s argument that the permit fee is being increased because Singapore vehicle prices have doubled since 2006 and the main culprit is the cost of COEs.

And with Malaysian motorists entering Singapore and not feeling too much of a pinch, and with a government in Singapore becoming increasingly sensitive to public sentiments, acting against foreign vehicles is good domestic politics – but bad diplomacy, as the unfolding events are showing.

When giants fight it is the small man who suffers. It is time for the two PMs to step in and stop this pain and suffering.

- Advertisement -

Alamak! IKEA misprints reusable bags, sells them as limited edition

Singapore -- A typo in IKEA Singapore's KLAMBY reusable shopping bag resulted in a discount on its price. The store has admitted to the mistake with an "alamak" and has since tagged the shopping bag as a "limited edition" item that...

Bi-national couple charged with breaching SHN at Ritz-Carlton

Singapore—A British-Singaporean couple are facing charges for offences pertaining to Stay-Home Notice (SHN) requirements, having flouted an SHN at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Hotel last September. The couple, British national Nigel Skea, 52, and his fiancée, Singaporean Agatha Maghesh Eyamalai, 39, were...

29-year-old inmate gets straight As for O levels, tops her cohort

Singapore — A 29-year-old inmate has topped her inmate cohort in the results for last year's GCE O-level examinations, according to the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) on Wednesday (Jan 13). Her story was released on Captains of Lives, the Facebook page...