Johor Bahru— Malaysian Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Sunday, December 1, that the possible third bridge that would link Singapore and Malaysia would only be decided upon after a comprehensive feasibility study is done that would see how needful the link is to ease congestion of the traffic into Johor.
Mr Muhyiddin said that the Government hopes to launch the “holistic research” on the matter early in 2020 when funding for the study is made available. However, the decision concerning building the third link may not be reached until after October of next year.
He said, “This will be done after we received feedback from the holistic research, including the location of the third bridge, that will also be based on the research by a concession company.
The research is expected to cost about RM5 million (S$1.64 million) and would take about nine months to be completed.”
The Home Minister made these remarks after having led a committee meeting on the congestion issue at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex in Johor Bahru. Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Jamil Rakon and Malaysian Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad were also present at the meeting, the Malay Mail reports.
This means, Mr Muhyiddin continued, that discussions with Singapore concerning building the link would not be begun until after approval from Putrajaya concerning the building of the third link.
The Home Minister said that the government would seek the most feasible and practical methods to address the severe traffic problems in the southern part Johor.
“Apart on the matter of the third bridge, another initiative that was brought-up in the meeting here today was to solve the current congestion issue by increasing the number of personnel at both CIQ facilities.
This proposal includes increasing the number of both customs and immigration officers that will only be decided by the Public Service Department,” he added.
The Singapore-Johor crossing is one of the most heavily traversed in the region, with over 450,000 people entering and exiting Singapore through both the Tuas Second Link and the Causeway every single day.
Late last month, Mr Muhyiddin emphasized at the Johor State Assembly the need to build a third link connecting Johor Bahru with Singapore The Home Minister is the chairman of the Special Committee on Congestion at the Johor Causeway.
According to Bernama, Malaysia’s national news agency, Mr Muhyiddin said that this link could either be a tunnel or a bridge, and that he has already told the federal government of this necessity.
The Home Minister said, “If the state government supports this, I will ensure this initiative be started.
Before, we used to have only one bridge. Then we had two bridges and now these two can no longer cope,” since congestion often builds up at the Second Link in Tuas as well as at the Causeway.
The Home Minister echoed Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Tun Mahathir Mohamad, who also recently called for a third link to connect Malaysia and Singapore, due to the large number of vehicles going back and forth between the two countries. -/TISG