Iskandar Puteri— Malaysia’s Home Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, emphasised the need to build a third link that would link Johor Baru with Singapore in order to ease the heavy traffic on the Causeway. He said this at the Johor state assembly on Monday, November 25.
The Home Minister is the chairman of the Special Committee on Congestion at the Johor Causeway.
According to Bernama, Malaysia’s national news agency, Tan Sri 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.
Mohd Solihan Badri, the state Public Works, Transport and Infrastructure Committee chairman, said that the Home Minister’s proposal for building the third link is a step in the right direction.
Bernama reports him as saying that the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar, built in 2003, would have reached its full capacity by 2020.
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 a large number of vehicles going back and forth between the two countries.
In related news, late last month, Malaysia confirmed its decision to proceed with the construction of the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project that connects Johor Bahru and Singapore.
On October 31, Dr Mahathir confirmed in a press conference that the RTS Link would indeed be constructed. Work on the link would resume without further delay, he added, and that the link would be built with a cost cut of 36 percent, “from RM4.93 billion to RM3.16 billion.”
The link was originally planned in order to reduce the heavy traffic on the Johor Causeway and connect Singapore to the Southern Economic Corridor Iskandar Malaysia. The agreement to build the link had been signed between the Government of Singapore and the administration of then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, who lost his bid for re-election in the May 2018 elections.
The project was put on hold when Dr Mahathir began his term, as his administration evaluated the currents and their corresponding costs.
For a time, whether the project would continue or not was uncertain, since in May the two countries agreed to suspend works on the link until September 30. And in September, another month was added to the suspension with no extra cost.
But Dr Mahathir had already confirmed earlier in the month that his government would push through with the project, when the Malaysian Government launched its National Transport Policy in Kuala Lumpur on October 17.
Even earlier, Lim Guan Eng, Malaysia’s Finance Minister, also said that the Government “intends to proceed” with the link when he tabled the national budget for next year. -/TISG
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