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The WEATHER on SATURDAY (8 Feb 2003): Partly cloudy with showers in the afternoon, mainly over western, central and southern Singapore.  WEATHER OUTLOOK:  SUNDAY & MONDAY: Afternoon showers can be expected.     WATER TIDES (this month)  High tide   3.13am  2.5m   3.11pm   2.5m  SUN Sunrise  7.17am    Sunset  7.21pm   MOON  Moonrise  12.07pm   Moonset  -    PSI: 39 (good)   TEMPERATURE: 24-32 degrees Celsius (The weather is updated daily before 8am Singapore time) For more information, call Meteorological Service Singapore Tel: (65) 6542 7788.

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Comments by MFA spokesman on Mahathir's comments in Bernama report 14 Feb 2003

Comments by MFA spokesman

Asked to comment on the Bernama report of 14 February 2003 quoting Prime Minister Mahathir as saying that he had been informed by Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew that Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong was not in favour of a new bridge to replace the Causeway "because he has a sense of nostalgia over the Causeway", and that " we [Malaysia and Singapore] can construct a bridge after Goh Chok Tong's retirement .", the MFA Spokesman said:

"Prime Minister Mahathir is an entertaining story-teller. But for facts, please refer to Minister Jayakumar's statement in Parliament and the exchange of letters between both sides.

Prime Minister Goh did not think that there was a need to replace the Causeway with a new bridge, when the Causeway was serving both countries well, and the Second Link was still under-utilised. It would be a waste of several hundred million dollars. However, since Malaysia was extremely keen on the bridge, in the interests of concluding a package deal, including the supply of future water to Singapore, Prime Minister Goh had agreed to it, and suggested that the Causeway be knocked down after 2007 when the bridge had been completed."

The MFA Spokesman added:

"In fact, Malaysian and Singapore officials had held two rounds of technical discussions, on 6 June and 1 September 2002, to see how Malaysia's technical requirements for a new bridge could be accommodated.

It was Malaysia that called off the package negotiations in October 2002, thus bringing to a stop any further discussion of the bridge."

The MFA Spokesman said that "the documents released by Minister Jayakumar in Parliament on 25 January 2003 are not figments of the imagination. That may explain why the Malaysian media had chosen not to publish them." The relevant extracts of the documents are as follows:
On 24 August 2000, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew wrote to then-Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin to say:

"On Mahathir's Causeway bridge proposal, my PM agrees to it, but proposes that we do not demolish the Causeway. He is wary of a public outcry if he agrees to the destruction of a historical and still valuable asset, just to replace it with a beautifully designed bridge but one that will lead to increased toll charges.
He can better present the bridge proposal to the people of Singapore if he can say that three links are needed for longer-term traffic growth, that even at present, during weekends and the holiday season, there is congestion at the Causeway."

In the Annex to his letter to Prime Minister Mahathir of 21 September 2001, Senior Minister Lee said:

"Singapore agrees to Malaysia's proposal for a bridge to be built between Singapore and Malaysia.
However, Singapore proposes that the demolition of the Causeway take place after 2007, when both the bridge and tunnel have been completed."

On 11 April 2002, Prime Minister Goh wrote to Prime Minister Mahathir to say:

"Between a new bridge to replace the entire Causeway, and one to replace just the Malaysian side of the Causeway, I like the former better.
Once the new bridge is completed, the Causeway can be knocked down, which I prefer to be done after 2007.
But if you wish to proceed immediately to replace just your side of the Causeway with a bridge, I shall accept it, though I think this is not ideal."

Singapore Government Press Release 15 Feb 2003

NEW WEB SITES   is the Web site of the new Media Development Authority, formed by the merger of the Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA), the Films and Publications Department (FPD) and the Singapore Film Commission (SFC).   is a cyber platform, set up by the Ministry of Law, to keep Singaopore's overseas lawyers informed of developments in the local legal scene, gather feedback on legal reform and developments in other countries and to assist the local legal fraternity to network with those working overseas.

Click New Web sites for the rest of the list.

Eye on Singapore

It's about people!

Current Issues Affecting Our Community

Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) plans workforce reduction

National Stadium to be torn down and replaced with new Sports Hub by 2009

Remembering the Fall of Singapore - Total Defence Carnivals

Singapore River Hongbao 2003

A Story for Valentine's Day: Bonne And Charles

Are teachers always right?

Foreign Minister speaks on question of joint patrols at Pedra Branca

Swing at Singapore Art Museum with Linda Hop Ensemble

Street market returns to Chinatown in 2nd quarter 2003

Economic Restructuring Shares (ERS) - Extension

Highlights: Report On Labour Force 2002

Plaza Singapura set to draw in the crowds again

Water Issue: Foreign Minister's replies in Parliament on 25 Jan 2003

Water issue is about sanctity of agreements, not about price alone

2nd Day of Chinese New Year Open Day at Singapore Art Museum

Chinese New Year is here again

Differences between British & Singapore O & A Levels - Excerpt of Minister's speech

Book Review: Singapore - State Of The Art

Consumer Price Index for 2002

Regulation of Kindergartens - excerpt of Minister's speech

New prestigious mailing address for our Private Mail Service

St Valentine's Day Dome Readings

New Mix n Match dating service on this Web site

Education: Performance by ethnic group 1992 - 2001

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Singapore's current population trends 1971-2001

Book Review: Heart Work

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The Teacher's Dilemma

Has the National Library got to go?


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19 February 2003

Saturday's News


Senior Minister LEE Kuan Yew last night warned of the short-term risk of a global recession caused by a war on Iraq. This would happen if the Iraqis destroyed their oil fields, as well as those in neighbouring Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, as this could drive oil prices as high as US$50 a barrel. On the other hand, if the oil fields remained intact, oil prices could fall after a war and fuel a global recovery. (1)

In court yesterday, Audrey ONG, 23, was jailed for 12 years after she pleaded guilty to two charges of helping her British boss, Michael McCrea, 44, dispose of the bodies of two people he had murdered and removing bloodstains from the apartment they were killed in on 2 Jan 2002. (4)

The Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple in Ceylon Road, which was reconsecrated yesterday, was formally earmarked as a historic site by the National Heritage Board. The temple, which underwent a S$7 million renovation, dates back to the late 1800s. (6)

A newborn baby boy was found dead outside a flat in Jurong East yesterday afternoon. The child had been wrapped in an orange towel and left outside the home of Madam Margaret Verma on the 22nd storey of Block 201 in Jurong East Street 21. (H2)

Some Housing Board staff will be offered early retirement when HDB restructures itself. HDB has 8,246 employees currently. (H8)

NTU students are to get eight new hostels, which will be ready in 2008. The seven-storey buildings offer an additional 5,000 places, allowing eight in 10 undergraduates to live on campus. Currently, about five in 10 of the 16,000 students stay in the university's 15 hostels, which are four to five storeys high. The new halls will be built on the periphery of the campus in Nanyang Avenue, near the Jurong West Extension. (H13)

A part-time IT trainer who molested 20 of his young pupils, aged between 6 and 7, in a primary school was yesterday sentenced to six years' jail and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane. The school is in the eastern aprt of Singapore. (H15)


New Delhi: India was preparing to test-fire a long-range ballistic missile capable of hitting targets deep inside China, sources said yesterday. Highly placed sources from India's defence research organisation said the earliest probable launch of Agni-III would be after the end of the Indian monsoon season in September. (4)


Around the world

London: Anti-terrorism police detained seven people in co-ordinated early morning raids in four cities in Scotland and England on Thursday. Two men were arrested in London, two in Edinburgh, one man in Manchester and a man and woman in Glasgow. Officials linked the operations to recent arrests of North Africans charged with plotting attacks with ricin, a deadly toxin. (10)




To assist you in tracing the above news articles in The Straits Times, we have provided the section and page numbers at the end of each news article. Therefore, (12): main section page 12; (S4): sports section page 4; (A10): asia section page 10; (L3): life section page 3.

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