Posted: 18 Mar 2013 01:31 AM PDT
Someone sent me this from The Star. The sender was unhappy why we would want Senai Airport to become side kick to Singapore's Changi. Or why help Singapore maintain its advantage over Malaysia. My comments follow. First here is the Star's report. The guy who is being interviewed here is the CEO of Iskandar Malaysia Dato Ismail Ibrahim.
Well I agree with many of the points Ismail is talking about. Suka tak suka S'pore is already handling a huge portion of our exports. Singapore Harbour is so busy because of the re-export business in and out of Malaysia. S'pore has been a node for the Peninsula for a long time. S'pore is also a nodal point for the entire South East Asia.
Plenty of planes fly into Singapore because of geography. They are smack in the middle between Europe and Australia and just about anywhere else.
I believe we dont have to worry too much about Singapore as a competitor. Like it or not, we have to work together for commercial profit. This idea is not too far off. May I caution Datuk Ismail Ibrahim on a few points though :
1. Dont lay all your cards on the table when dealing with the S'poreans. They are still kiasu, especially if they are born in Kampar - Perak, Raub - Pahang or someplace like that. If you make known all your plans, people will take advantage of you or manipulate things.
2. Dont tell them too much about what is good for them - they have been doing a pretty good job so far.
3. Dont get pushed into a corner when you negotiate anything with them.
Here are some examples how you can get pushed into a corner :
i. They agree to the twin airport concept but they put conditons that planes above a certain size (say A380) cannot land in Senai anymore as long as there are stars and moon in the sky.
ii. Or they say that Senai cannot expand its runway without getting S'pore approval
iii. Or they say that "for the privilege" of twinning Senai with Changi , S'pore will do the maintenance of the RTS but send the bill to Iskandar every month. (This is called 'kita diperbodohkan' and it has happened so many times before.)
Things like this are bound to happen with the Singaporeans. If you want to avoid this - just call in the Bloggers. Thats me and my friends. Or make the terms open for public viewing - before signing them.
Of course the other way is to grow Johor Bharu, Iskandar and the Johor hinterland. Then Senai will grow by itself and even overtake Singapore. Why not develop Melaka - Muar into a Super Corridor as well. Then it can be another feeder into Iskandar - JB - S'pore.
There are many ways to skin the cat. Or build a bridge.
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