Kim Quek asks whether Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's stated advantage - that the half-bridge provides for transporting goods between Pasir Gudang and Tanjung Pelepas (presumably by sea) - outweighs the present one of transportation by lorry.
I'm sure the lorry operators won't be pleased but to me it makes better sense for the ship going from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean to load and unload goods at Tanjung Pelepas, sail on to Pasir Gudang and do the same before continuing its journey.
For a ship going the other way, it makes even better sense than having to sail round the island of Singapore to get from one port to the other.
I would also expect Johor Baru folks to welcome a reduction in lorry traffic.
I would like to invoke the neo-liberal argument which imperialists and their agents have levelled against countries like Malaysia - i.e that the only constant is change.
Malaysia has to face up to the unpleasant reality that manufacturing jobs - while one time providing mass employment and earned much foreign exchange for about 30 years - are now moving to lower wage areas like China and we are struggling to move our industries higher up the value chain or to develop new, knowledge-intensive industries, but with limited success so far.
Singapore has suffered too from this exodus of jobs and it has had to make similar adjustments. So Singapore must face the fact that cheaper port facilities have sprung up to its north. The republic has to adjust to the change and try and complement, rather than resist it.
One way would be for Singapore to agree to a full bridge like the Second Link by shifting its port facilities to its northern shores opposite the two Malaysian ports to take advantage of the marine traffic which would be passing through this protected harbour.
Criticising for the sake of criticising will not earn anyone much respect. On the contrary, people like me eventually get tired of negative criticism however shrill and verbose it may be and it makes me wonder whether people like Kim Quek and Manjit Bhatia have any hidden agendas in their criticism - i.e do they or their families operate lorries moving goods between Pasir Gudang and Tanjung Pelepas?
Shaukat Ali is right in saying that such letter-writers will soon be ignored by the bulk of the population. Sure, Lim Kit Siang has criticised the bridge but with DAP's current spat with Keadilan, I expect that it is determined to totally sideline itself from mainstream politics.