According to Effendi, the government only too a few months after the project was approved to complete the conceptualisation and implementation of Penang's second bridge project.
Effendi said a project of such magnitude would normally take years to get off the ground. But because, Pak Lah had drove himself to ensure that the whole project was implemented as soon as possible.
Before Mahathir retired in 2003, the same proposal was pondered again but was left to Pak Lah to decide.
In April 2005, the cabinet under Pak Lah decided to scrap the idea and Samy Vellu announced that the bridge was just too costly for the government.
"Penang will not get a second bridge for now as it is too expensive," said Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu. Although the Federal Government agreed that the proposed second bridge linking Batu Maung on the island to Batu Kawan on the mainland was vital to Penang’s development, he said it would be too costly.
“The federal government is very concerned about the need to build a second bridge but it also has to take the RM2.6bil cost into consideration. The federal government feels that for now, it’s too expensive to build the bridge,” he said on Friday.
Samy Vellu, however, said the government would expand the existing Penang Bridge from four lanes to six. Samy said several suggestions to fund the bridge construction through privatisation were found to be not viable. “As such, the bridge can only be built with government support even after it is privatised.
In August 4, 2006, (as reported in NST) Penang Chief Minister, Koh Tsu Koon announced that the work on the 2nd Bridge was expected to start in 2007.
You can see that the conceptual design was parlaid.
How could it be that it was claimed that the conceptual design was only implemented after the approval of the Prime Minister, Pak Lah recently?
I do agree that the revival of the project was entirely due to PM Abdullah as he is the "Force behind Bridge". He was also the force behind the "shot down" of the project in 2004.
He was also the force to shot down the Double-track Railway project awarded to Gamuda-MMC which is also being revived.
He was also the force behind the cancellation of Putrajaya Monorail project.
He was also the force behind the cancellation of Crooked Bridge project.
And now, he is the force behind the revival of all those projects.
We have to thank Mahathir for "creating" the trouble with him, for without the continuous blitzkreig and "perseverances", the "Pak Lah Frugal Policy" would still be intact and the construction industry contraction that had begun since 2004 would had continued for the next few years. By then, most of the contractors would had become insolvent and many would had died a natural death.
Ironically, it has to take Mahathir to cause the "Credence Clearwater Revival". The Bumiputra contractors had to thank the "Recalcitrant Ex-PM".