Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What Is The Hidden Rationale
Behind IDR Joint Committee?

Everyday, there is a new twist in the bilateral co-operation between Malaysia and Singapore, especially concerning the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in southern Johore.

The latest, Malaysia and Singapore yesterday agreed to the setting up a “ministerial-level joint committee” to “oversee areas of co-operation” in IDR.

Here are three main paragraphs of a news item about it by Bernama - the national news agency of Malaysia:

LANGKAWI, May 15 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to set up a ministerial-level joint committee to oversee some areas of cooperation between the two countries in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in southern Johor.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today the joint committee would be represented by a minister from each side.

“They will be supported by officials, and at any time that they feel that someone has to be invited to discuss, they can,” he told reporters at the conclusion of a two-day unofficial meeting with his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong. – Bernama

Next, here are some important links about IDR for background reading. They enable us to have a sufficient knowledge about this mega project:

Now, here are my comments about IDR in the context of Abdullah’s statement made in Langkawi yesterday:

IDR is a mega project by Khazanah Nasional - an investment agency of the Malaysian government. Abdullah and Dato’ Abdullah Ghani Othman are IDR’s joint-chairman. IDR also has its own panel of advisers.

So why does the government need to set up a Malaysia-Singapore “ministerial-level joint committee to oversee some areas of cooperation between the two countries in IDR”?

IDR is not limited only to investors from Singapore. It is meant for all investors world wide. So, why only a joint committee with Singapore? Is IDR jointly owned by Singapore?

So what actually is the hidden rationale behind the setting up of this committee? To prove to the world that Malaysia now allows a foreign nation to directly interfere in the development of IDR?

Does the joint committee not giving the impression that Malaysians are not competent enough to manage and develop IDR? Does the government forget that Malaysia is an independent and sovereign nation?

Fellow bloggers and surfers in the Malaysian cybersphere definitely have more comments and questions about the same subject.

The government has to be accountable by furnishing Malaysians with the most satisfactory answers as to why such a joint committee needs to be formed. – Ruhanie Ahmad

No comments: