KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government may have a tough time convincing Singapore to agree to its “crooked bridge” idea to connect the two countries, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
The Pekan MP said Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed a preference to retain the Johor-Singapore Causeway as the bridge was still good for another 30 years.
“When I was PM, I met with the Singaporean PM and he said he wants to retain the existing Causeway for another 30 years because he said it can still be used.
“The question now is whether the ‘crooked bridge’ would be beneficial to the people or not and the biggest challenge would be on how to connect it with Singapore,” Najib told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian mooted reviving the “crooked bridge” project first proposed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during the latter’s first stint as prime minister and later rejected by his successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
However, he said an agreement was not reached as Singapore refused to demolish its half of the Causeway.
Najib said the project was then cancelled in 2003, for which the contractor involved was compensated.
“I tried to ask Singapore to demolish the Causeway to build a new bridge that is more suited for the current era, but we could not meet an agreement.
“If only half of the bridge is new and the other half is old, then it would be quite ‘weird’ from many different aspects,” he said.