Past and present proposals for new S'pore-Johor bridge

PASIR GUDANG (JOHOR) TO PULAU PUNGGOL BARAT

Mr Xavier Jayakumar, Malaysia's Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister has proposed a new link from Johor's Pasir Gudang industrial area to Singapore's Pulau Punggol Barat, near Seletar Airport.

Mr Jayakumar said in an Oct 18 statement that there is a "dire need" for an additional link so as to relieve daily commuters of the "long and arduous hours" on the two crossings which only become worse during the festive season.

PENGERANG (JOHOR) TO PULAU UBIN-MAINLAND SINGAPORE

Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian told Malaysian media in late August that the Johor government was in talks with a company to erect a bridge linking Sungai Rengit, in Johor's south-eastern district of Pengerang, to Pulau Ubin in Singapore. An undersea tunnel will take motorists from Pulau Ubin to the Singapore mainland. "We want to spread development to other parts of Johor..." Mr Osman was quoted as saying by The Star Online. He did not give details on the proposed route.

FRIENDSHIP BRIDGE

Malaysia's former prime minister Najib Razak during a leaders' retreat between Malaysia and Singapore in April 2014 mentioned long term plans for a "friendship bridge" as another road link between the two countries, without specifying a location.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had then said that Singapore's "pre-occupation" is to first improve the current customs and immigration checks at the border, where the queue is "very long".

"For the long term, I can imagine and foresee that at some point, we will have to widen the links across the Straits of Johor. And we should study now how we can develop for the long term a new link," he said.

CROOKED BRIDGE

Malaysia's Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali earlier this month said a crooked bridge project at the Causeway is not a priority. A spokesman for Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meanwhile, on Oct 18 said the Republic had not received any official proposal or communications from Malaysia related to the construction of a crooked bridge or any other new link between Singapore and Malaysia.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had mooted the idea to build a new bridge to replace the Causeway prior to his retirement in 2003.

Singapore did not agree, so he planned to erect, on the Malaysian half of the Causeway, an S-shaped half-bridge. This is widely referred to as the crooked bridge due to its shape. The project was however cancelled by his successor, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi, in April 2006.

Tun Dr Mahathir, in the last few weeks has revived the crooked bridge idea.

Malaysia's Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali earlier this month said a crooked bridge project at the Causeway is not a priority. A spokesman for Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meanwhile, on Oct 18 said the Republic had not received any official proposal or communications from Malaysia related to the construction of a crooked bridge or any other new link between Singapore and Malaysia.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 28, 2018, with the headline 'Past and present proposals for new S'pore-Johor bridge'. Print Edition | Subscribe