Yes, Mr Tham is right (S'poreans not bothered by 'half bridge'), I do hold grudges against the Singapore government and its people.
However, contrary to what he said, it is not based on just one encounter with a taxi driver in Singapore. It is an experience based on my four years as a student many years ago in Singapore, and also having many family members and friends in Singapore whom I regularly meet and with whom I exchange views.
My conclusion is that most Singaporeans (including Malaysians-turned-Singaporeans) continue to enjoy exchanges with Malaysia, for holiday, to play golf, buy condos, doing business and shopping, etc.
However, almost all Singaporeans that I have met do look down on Malaysia. They especially look down upon the Malay majority-led government in Malaysia. They make jokes, sneer at and cook up sarcastic comments about the Malaysian news published in Singapore newspapers, most of which are negative.
This attitude is due to the fact that Singapore has enjoyed over 20 years of continuous growth to become a developed nation. The continued prosperity has led most Singaporeans to be convinced of their invincibility.
It also gives them an air of superiority as compared to their poorer neighbours. The prosperity has gone into their head and it shows in their relations with Malaysia.
The general opinion of Malaysians toward the Singaporean government is that it is self-centered and self-serving. This is proven during the financial crises of 1997 when we did not get any help from Singapore, which instead tried to take advantage of Malaysia's worsening economic situation. Singapore at that time was considered by many as a safe haven for foreign investments. How things have changed.
Today, not many Malaysians have sympathy for Singapore, which is going through its worst economic crisis. I might be going over the top in my suggestion of hoping for a worsening of relationship with Singapore in my previous letter, but I do however believe that, most Malaysians feel that Singapore deserve it, if it happens.
It is not just Malaysians who feel this way. China, which used to be a great admirer of Singapore's political system and economic achievement, found out about the short-sightedness of Singapore's attitude the hard way. As the Sars crisis hit China, Singapore PM Goh Chok Tong was the first head of state to cancel his visit to China.
Many Chinese citizens were shocked that Singapore could withdraw its support during its worst crisis (Chinese websites are full of it) after many years of strong bilateral relations. No wonder China is now reviewing its decision not to support the building of a canal through southern Thailand, which would make Singapore's port redundant.
Three final points. How silly of Mr Tham to think that Malaysian taxpayers would pay for the bridge (sorry, the half-bridge). I am sure that we would do it the Malaysian way. Malaysia would probably privatise it and have a toll at the end of that bridge to charge Singaporeans who cross the bridge.
Secondly, I think it is at least refreshing to hear a Singapore praising Dr M as being a global statesman and a respectable historical figure. I have never heard that from any Singaporean before! But if I were Dr M, I would not give a toss about what others think. I would just go ahead and do what I think Singapore deserves for the pain that it has caused.
And finally, it seems that there are more pro-Singapore than pro-Malaysia comments in malaysiakini on this issue. Is it because a lot of readers from Singapore are tuning in? If these Singaporean readers really care for their own country, wouldn't they be better off if they put up a 'Singaporekini' website and start asking questions of their own government.
We would love to hear some questions being asked by Singaporeans, such as why are our bilateral relationship with our closest neighbour (on whom we rely heavily for water) in such a sorry state and why we are not building the remaining half of that bridge.
Or, is the Singapore government too 'mature' and 'perfect' to be questioned?