Mahathir's 'crooked bridge' project may be brought back

OCTOBER 17, 2018 - 2:30 PM

Kuala Lumpur

THE JOHOR state government will be having a meeting with the Singapore government on the possibility of reviving the "crooked bridge" project linking Johor and Singapore, the Star online news reported.

Johor Mentri Besar Osman Sapian said the meeting, which will be held either on Oct 27 or Oct 28 in Singapore, will be attended by Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali.

"We will discuss issues including water price, bilateral development and investments. We will try to attract investors from Singapore to Malaysia.

"We might also discuss the crooked bridge project with them to see if they want to join us or otherwise, and also the third bridge project," he said.

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The crooked bridge project was mooted by Dr Mahathir Mohamad before he retired as premier in 2003.

He had planned to build the bridge, which involved a six-lane S-shaped highway that allows vessels to pass under it, since Singapore refused to demolish its half of the causeway link between the two countries.

The project was dropped by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when he became prime minister, which led to Dr Mahathir fiercely opposing his hand-picked successor.

Mr Osman said Dr Mahathir had asked him in a recent meeting if Johor needed the bridge, and he had said that it was up to the Prime Minister to decide.

"The bridge has its benefits. Perhaps past prime ministers didn't feel comfortable continuing a project started by Dr Mahathir.

"So he said if we want to do it, no problem because it would not involve demolishing the Singapore parts of the bridge, only on our side," Mr Osman said.

As for the present Johor-Singapore Causeway, Mr Osman said there were plans to widen the pathway to create pedestrian walkways and to allow more feeder buses to ferry people.