It seems like Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad would never let his idea of the crooked bridge between Malaysia and Singapore die down, and neither would he back down from accusing Singapore of taking advantage of Malaysia over the water spat. Even when announcing Malaysia’s agreement to finally green light the RTS Link near the Causeway, Mahathir cannot afford to back down form his two pet peeves against Singapore.
He first mooted the idea of the crooked bridge towards the end of his first Prime Minister stint, which was laughed at by Malaysians and Singaporeans alike as being an ugly addition to the almost a century old Causeway link. However, now that he is back as Malaysian Prime Minister at the ripe old age 94, (The Causeway is only 2 years older than him), he has revived the idea of the crooked bridge again. This time, however, instead of replacing the Causeway, he wants the crooked bridge to be the third land link to Singapore from Malaysia.
And he chose the happy occasion of announcing an actual third land link in the shape of the RTS Link to bring up the issue again. He even invoked the water deal “unfairness” to try to get his way with the crooked bridge. Mahathir indicated his bewilderment that Singapore refused to build that crooked bridge, even though Malaysia supplies cheap water to Singapore. He claimed incredulity that Singapore was benefiting from the water deal disproportionately at the expense of Malaysia, yet refuses to build the 3rd Link.
Now, we all agree the water deal, the crooked bridge and the RTS Link all are not related in any way, in terms of agreement or otherwise. But Mahathir would not let his crooked bridge idea die, nor would he finally admit that the water agreement is to the benefit of both Malaysia and Singapore. Some things never change.