Aug 14, 2006

Pak Lah : "He can say whatever he wants, I am the PM"; NO Bridge will be built

It's a war of words now

** Link - Dr M: Build the bridge and I'll stop commenting

Extracted from BERNAMA
Decision To Cancel Scenic Bridge Project Stays

JOHOR BAHARU, Aug 14 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today the government will not reverse its decision to cancel the "scenic bridge" project to replace the Johor Causeway as demanded by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the Cabinet had discussed the project in detail before deciding to cancel it.

"He (Dr Mahathir) can say whatever he wants, I am the Prime Minister. I decide what is best for the people," he told reporters after launching MSC Malaysia Cyberport here Monday.

Dr Mahathir, who has been making scathing attacks on the Abdullah administration for several months, on Sunday mentioned that he would stop his criticisms if the government resumed construction of the bridge.

On a related matter, Abdullah said the contractor of the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) integrated complex here should complete it quickly to overcome the traffic congestion problem on the causeway.

"They (the contractor) need to hurry up," he said when commenting on a request by Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd for an extension of five months to complete the RM1.3 billion project.

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, speaking in Kuala Lumpur today, said Gerbang Perdana expected to complete the project on Feb 28, 2007 instead of the original date next month.

The company said the delay was due to the cancellation of the "scenic bridge" project which affected work on the CIQ complex and late acquisition of the site for the Western Hub and KTMB car park for JB Sentral.

Samy Vellu said the contractor has yet to make a formal written appeal to the Public Works Department for an extension of time.

In his speech, Abdullah said the usage of ICT must be widened to make the e-government programme a success.

"ICT is for all, not for one particular community. If there is going to be e-government then e-knowledge must be spread to all Malaysians," he added.

Abdullah later presented preliminary grants totalling RM50,000 to five companies with MSC status which will operate in the MSC Cyberport.

So far, 34 companies have applied for MSC status here.

Besides Menara MSC Cyberport in Johor Baharu, the state government plans to develop 60 hectares in Kulai for MSC Malaysia Cybercity.


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