SINGAPORE: Singapore and Malaysia should build more political and goodwill bridges, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said on Thursday (Mar 21).
In a Facebook post, Mr Goh referred to Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s remark on Tuesday that both countries need "at least three to four more bridges" to facilitate border traffic flow.
“Mahathir wants to build more bridges between Malaysia and Singapore. Their cost-benefits should be studied. In the meantime, let us start building more political, goodwill bridges between leaders, Members of Parliament and our two peoples," he said.
Mr Goh also added that Malaysia and Singapore will forever be neighbours: "Our two peoples have grown increasingly apart since Separation, and successive generations will find each other more unfamiliar. I favour closer and stronger links between Malaysia and Singapore, both physical and political. We are neighbours, and forever will be."
During a question-and-answer session at the Invest Malaysia meeting on Tuesday, Dr Mahathir had said he “does not understand” why Singapore does not want any more bridges.
During his first stint as prime minister, Dr Mahathir had first mooted the idea of a crooked bridge - a six-lane highway that would curve in a way that would allow vessels to pass under it - between Singapore and Johor.
In 2003, just before ending his 22-year tenure at prime minister, he announced that Malaysia would go ahead and build its own half of the crooked bridge if Singapore refused to demolish its half of the Causeway.
However, the project was dropped by Dr Mahathir's successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.