“He was my hope after Pak Lah resigned. He said he would build the bridge when he became the prime minister even if Singapore opposes to it. But he didn't do.”
“If Singapore does not agree to this, it is not my fault. It is our sovereign right; it is in our own territorial area, territorial waters. Half of that Causeway belongs to us. I'm not touching Singapore’s side.”
“He said he made an agreement with Singapore, where is our independence? Are we part of Singapore?”
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is very angry that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak allegedly broke his promise about building the ‘Crooked Bridge’ to Singapore once he takes over from Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. What upset Dr Mahathir even more is that Najib ‘bends’ to Singapore by not proceeding with the construction of the bridge.
In the first place, the reason it is a crooked bridge and not a straight bridge is because it is going to be half a bridge. The bridge will be built only on the Malaysian side of the Causeway and not on the Singapore side. And this is because Singapore does not want to demolish their side of the Causeway and replace it with a bridge.
Since the Causeway on the Malaysian side is too short, it is impossible to build a straight half bridge or else it will be too steep. The bridge needs to be longer to make the gradient feasible and if it is going to be longer then it cannot be a straight bridge but must meander and be built crooked.
The matter of the bridge itself is not really an issue, as Dr Mahathir said, or even the broken promise. What is the issue is that Singapore opposes the destruction of the historic Causeway for sentimental reasons. So they would like the Causeway to remain. And if Malaysia does not demolish the Causeway then it would be giving in to Singapore.
It is basically a tug-of-war with Singapore and as far as Dr Mahathir is concerned Malaysia must win. But if the ‘Crooked Bridge’ is not going to be built then Singapore would win instead. And this something that Dr Mahathir cannot accept -- losing to Singapore.