ISKANDAR PUTERI: The construction of a third bridge linking Malaysia and Singapore is a long-term measure to tackle congestion at both immigration checkpoints, said Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday (Nov 25).
Mr Muhyiddin Yassin said he had already informed the federal government about the need for the construction of the bridge in order to ease congestion at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex and Sultan Abu Bakar CIQ complex.
“If the state government supports, I will ensure this initiative (the construction of a third bridge) will be started,” he said during a debate at the Johor state assembly on Monday.
Mr Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also chairman of the Special Committee on Congestion at the Johor Causeway, said preliminary studies have been conducted and showed a need to build a third bridge linking Johor and Singapore.
The minister said a third link between Johor and Singapore does not have to be a bridge but can instead be in the form of a tunnel across the Straits of Johor.
“Before we used to have only one bridge (Johor–Singapore Causeway), then we had two bridges (Johor Causeway and Malaysia-Singapore Second Link) and now these two can no longer cope (with the congestion),” he said.
State Public Works, Transport and Infrastructure Committee chairman Mohd Solihan Badri told reporters outside the state assembly hall that Muhyiddin's third bridge proposal was an appropriate step.
He said the CIQ complex in BSI was built in 2003 and will reach its full capacity next year.
In October, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that only the construction of "a third bridge" would alleviate the congestion issue at the Causeway and Second Link.
Dr Mahathir first mooted the idea of a crooked third bridge project in his first stint as prime minister.
The original concept of the bridge involved a six-lane highway that would curve in a way that would allow vessels to pass under it. But the project was dropped by his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.