Wednesday, 30 July 2014

A fight Singapore cannot win

Some feel that it's shaping up into another tit-for-tat between Malaysia and Singapore.

Senior blogger Apanama is apparently one of them. You can read his take on the matter here,

Singapore threatens Malaysia… again?

I'm on the other hand believe that it is not going to be the case.

This is so because I believe the Singaporeans are not stupid.

My bet is that there are many more Singaporean registered cars plying the Causeway than those of Malaysia.

I believe it will still be so even if the costs of driving across the Causeway increase by 10 times.

So, if there is an increase in toll charges on their side, the ones who are going to bear the brunt will mostly be Singaporeans, not Malaysians.

Singaporeans simply just need the space Malaysia provides.

As I had previously argued, Malaysians who will mostly suffer from the toll hike are only those who drive to work in the island republic.

As for all those vegetables lorries and other Malaysian vehicles carrying essential goods into the republic, any additional cost due to the toll hike will likely be passed on to Singaporean consumers.

In short, if there is going to be a tit-for-tat over the cost of traveling across the Causeway, the Singaporeans are the ones who are going to be worse off.

I believe the Malaysian government had taken this into account before deciding on imposing the VEP and additional toll charges at the Causeway.

Still, I hope Malaysian officials and their Singaporean counterparts could meet to discuss the matter and made each other understood and find a common ground for the benefit of people on both sides.

I do not like the idea of another round of Malaysia-Singapore hostilities.

Both countries had done well to improve relations over the past years and it would be a pity if relations deteriorate again.

I never consider myself anti-Singapore despite numerous irritating things the government of that island did in the past.

Many of my loved ones are Singaporeans and Malaysians living there.

I hope the Singaporeans could for once tone down a bit on their kiasu arrogance and admit that there are instances where they cannot win going against Malaysians.

This is one of them.

Okay, I know the Singaporeans need to save face and try to sound tough when they said they are going to retaliate on the toll charges, but seriously, this is one fight that they cannot win by playing tough.

Singapore need to remember that they are not actually Israel.

What? You are angry with Malaysia for charging your people more for driving across the Causeway and in response to that you want to charge your people even more? Don't be stupid, okay.

Better for you all to get your truly handsome Hsein Loong to talk with his friend Najib so that the whole thing doesn't affect our bilateral relations.

Anyway, I really hate the idea that some Malaysian crooks, particularly those in Johor using a potential tit-for-tat between the two countries to divert attention from their nefarious agenda.


  1. What do u expect a kiasu nation...always nak menang..Kalau saya ada kuasa I will do the followings;

    1. Impose levy to all Singapore cars
    2.Ban Singaporeans from buying any landed properties; kalau nak jual the landed property that they already owned, they can only sell to Malaysians.

    Malaysia must be daring to come out with policy that favor Malaysians.

    1. Do you expect any Malaysian chinese to even think about doing this terrible deed to their cousins down south. Get real man!

    2. I agree.... Why are so scared of the Singaporeans?

    3. You think Malaysians are as rich as Singaporeans to be able to afford to buy landed properties in Johore. The exchange rate for Singapore dollars is more than twice of Malaysia, and Singaporeans had high salaries. How can Malaysians compete with them? The paid in Malaysia is also much less than Singaporeans, otherwise, Malaysians will not need to go over to Singapore to work.

    4. Dont be stupid many parts of the world foreigners can only buy apartments and not landed properties to ensure properties owned by the citizens.

      The problem in johore because of singapore money the price of landed properties is very high and most johoreans could no longer afford to buy it, resulting they have to rent it from a Singaporean or buy a small flat. We have to force the landed property price lower by preventing the Singapore money disturbing the local housing market. We may face problem in the short run but in the long run our future generation is guaranteed. I know my Singaporean friends are gobbling landed properties as far as Pengerang and I do feel concern if action are not taken to reverse it.

    5. Make it a policy nationwide that foreigners could only buy leasehold land and property for 66 year lease; not freehold. At least the foreigners would not be holding our land forever.

  2. This amounts to provocation. The more so the little country will make sure it wins.

    It's part of their national programs to instil a belief in their people's mind, that malaysia is lousy and very lousy, so that even if one day singapore people might have to swallow shit, they will tell themselves that malaysia is worse and swallow it happily.

    Therefore losing to malaysia is unthinkable to them.

    1. you think only singaporean have that mentality? in malaysia..some malaysian also have that kind of to provoke and question everything on sensitive issues..when your question them back the same way..they say you're racist..they claim to be anak bangsa malaysia..still speak malay like they just just arrive from tongsan.

  3. Many years ago during the tang lian hong incident i remember seeing a singapore minister making a speech in their parliament. After presenting the trade data and statistics showing how minimal was the trade between singapore and malaysia as compared to singapore and other countries, the minister showing the face of controlling himself from laughing out ridiculed the singapore opposition MP who questioned if the incident would hurt the bilateral ties between both countries.

    Many years ago singapore already have no need for malaysia. So, please la don't make them laugh by suggesting that they will blink.

  4. JalanStraitsview30 July 2014 at 14:11

    Them's fighting words, Annie.

    But why are you getting upset with Singapore for exercising it's prerogatives in it's territory? National sovereignty, mah.

  5. Annie - why don't you use your blog to ask the Johor state government why it's still buying treated water from Singapore?

    What happened to all the braggadocio about "potong, potong"?

    Tun Dr M once opined that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Yet look where the " cat" is now. Closing on to being self-sufficient in water.

    As for the "scenic bridge" or the "crooked bridge", what happened when Singapore invoked the provisions of international law? Did our own A-G come up with an expert opinion to rebut the Singapore stand?

    So, as far as VEP and GVP fees are concerned, or for Causeway tolls, there's nothing much Malaysia can do.

    It certainly cannot guarantee jobs in Malaysia for all those Malaysians who are now working in Singapore. Not for equivalent wages in Ringgit.

    So all this huffing and puffing is a front to disguise weaknesses.

    Didn't somebody once post something about Johor ending up as a "Maquiladora" adjunct to Singapore?

  6. /// I believe it will still be so even if the costs of driving across the Causeway increase by 10 times. ///

    A big IF. On what authority or research do you make such a claim. If the entry fees on both sides are ratcheted up, much fewer Singaporeans will find it worthwhile to make the trip to Johor for shopping or filling up petrol.

    The way I see it, either way, Singapore will win.

    Singapore has been trying to discourage its citizens from zipping across to buy groceries, eat at the restaurants and top up petrol. Much Sing $ flows across the causeway. That's why they imposed the half-tank rule. Didn't work. Then the 3/4 tank rule. Didn't quite work either.

    So, now Johor is going to be the bad guy to do all the discouraging.

    1. Let's see if all those Malaysians who are now working in Singapore will be "patriotic" enough to give up their jobs with pay in Singapore Dollars to come back and work in Malaysia and be paid in Ringgit.

      Not just the PMETs, but the thousands who work as skilled and semi-skilled labour in Singapore.

      As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

      Let the Johor government, for starters, persuade the state's private sector to offer good jobs to these Malaysians.

      Then all this brouhaha about VEP fees and toll charges would be academic, because there wouldn't be Malaysians going to work in Singapore.

    2. Give up, Annie, give up.

      By now you should know that the singaporeans are good in arguments. You can't beat them.

      Every night they watch news from channel 5, channel 8, channel U, CNA, on marathon basis, one after another. Everyday news about singapore is how much HDB prices gone up (0.05% also they report, oh ya!), and private home sale down how much bla bla bla... drainage blocking also national news. And that's all. But when it's about malaysia, woh hoh!!! Sekejap melissa goh in KL reporting, then glenda chong at studio, then over to professor of Asian studies in Nus...!

      All singaporeans are qualified to teach malaysia one thing or two, and can lecture you and can ask you to go soal the johor state government.

      They are good, aren't they ?

    3. Anon 17:46

      Sure they can, brudder, seeing as how the Johor state government has done sweet all nothing to push the Johor economy into the "developed" stage ever since the Alliance government came into power in 1957.

      Case in point: the water issue. After all the ruckus (including the "potong. potong" strategy), the state government piped down (pun intended) and continued to buy treated water from Singapore. Why? Johor isn't self-sufficient in treated water, izzit? Some more, in JB got water cuts every now and then. Call SAJ - standard replies are "'paip bochor" or "water level dah turun".

      So, yup - the Singgies can teach us a thing or two about water management, seeing as how they have made it a multi-million dollar industry.

      Joke right - Malaysia has water coming out of it's ears, but when it's about water treatment and water management solutions, people look to Singapore.

      Darn - those guys are smart! Must be something in their water!

    4. Realize this when we compare ourselves to Singapore: Malaysiais seriously handicapped by our vernacular schools segregation... and religious fanaticism in some quarters.

  7. Dear Annie,

    What's the point of Iskandar Malaysia? don't you have any friends or relatives that stay in Singapore? I usually visit them on weekends to save on the VEP. So paying RM33 per visit is "paean muka" since our relatives are staying in Singapore?


  8. Economics:
    Just like subsidies, 'taxes' distorts true economic cost- particularly relevant here being human resources costs of those working across borders..

    PM M Najib and PM Lee can surely sort this out in Bantam and enjoy a golf break, kan?

    Haji M Zin
    Alor Gajah DPH

  9. Dear Annie,

    Please dont misunderstood me. I also don't like Singaporeans to come to Johor and make all the food and things high. But then, the rationale of this EDL toll is wrong. If I enter into PLUS toll in Skudai and exit in Sg Besi, I willingly pay the toll imposed because I have used and enjoyed the facilities of PLUS.
    However, why should I pay EDL toll if i travel from Skudai main trunk road to CIQ?

    Don't you think it is not right?



  10. Dear Lord Almighty Creator of good and evil, pray protect the innocent folks from the nefarious plans of the wolves which smile like sheep as they pounce upon their prey. Aaaah!