PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s idea of a new bridge to link eastern Johor to Singapore has been embraced by Singapore.
The republic’s nod for the project was conveyed by its minister mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, during his meeting with Najib on Wednesday.
Najib said although no deadline had been set for the commencement of the project for now, the bridge, once built, would be the catalyst for rapid growth in eastern Johor and meet Singapore’s desire to increase its investments in Malaysia.
“Singapore is keen on having the third bridge and it is something which we (Malaysia and Singapore) will pursue.”
Najib, who is also finance minister, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop had been asked to jointly conduct a feasibility study on the project with his Singaporean counterpart.
They are expected to appoint a consultant and determine the projected cost.
Najib said the cost of constructing the bridge would be shared equally by the two countries.
The third bridge, after the Causeway and the Second Link, would not only facilitate Johor’s development but also that of Rompin and Kuantan in Pahang as well as Terengganu.
Iskandar Malaysia, Najib said, would also benefit from the third bridge project.
The prime minister raised the new bridge idea during his visit to Singapore recently, on the grounds that eastern Johor was less developed and had huge potential.
He said the new bridge meant that the Causeway would remain as it is, and that there would be no “crooked” or straight bridge to replace it.
He said Singapore’s cooperation was needed to replace the Causeway, whose replacement it felt was hard to justify.
Najib, during a press conference after the 2010 Budget consultation meeting, was also asked about Lee’s meetings with leaders of political parties during his eight-day visit to Malaysia.
“There is nothing to it if he wants to meet anyone for a clear picture of the situation in the country.
“To him (Lee), the stability of Malaysia is closely related to Singapore, just as Malaysia’s success has an effect on that country.”
Source : New Straits Times