Mahathir: M'sia does not need S'pore's consent to build crooked bridge

Mixed signals from across the Causeway.

Jonathan Lim| October 18, 10:17 PM

On Oct. 16, Johor's Chief Minister Osman Sapian announced that his state government raised the idea of reviving Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's 2003 crooked bridge idea.

He said that Mahathir agreed to it if the Johor government was keen to do so.

No consent needed

On Oct. 18, The Star reported that Mahathir told reporters in Parliament that Malaysia need not obtain Singapore's consent to build a crooked bridge linking Johor Bahru with Singapore.

He said: "This (crooked bridge project) comes from Johor but some people say they want a third bridge and not a crooked bridge. If they want to have the third bridge, we have to ask Singapore and I don't think Singapore will give consent. The crooked bridge doesn't involve Singapore at all and we can build it at any time."

This was a view similar to what was said two days earlier.

On Oct. 16, New Straits Times reported Osman as saying: "He (Mahathir) said we were free to build it as does not involve demolishing Singapore's part of the Causeway... only on our side. The Federal government has no objection and has agreed to it; there is a possibility that the ‘crooked bridge’ project will be continued."

However, consent must still be sought from Johor's Sultan.

No proposals received: Singapore

When Osman announced the possibility of reviving the crooked bridge idea on Oct. 16, he said that he would visit Singapore with Malaysian Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali to discuss this issue with Singapore.

A day later on Oct. 17, Azmin told reporters that his ministry had yet to receive a former proposal from the Johor government.

He added that Malaysia needed to prioritise its infrastructure projects given its current fiscal condition.

On Oct. 18, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in response to queries that it did not receive any official proposals from Malaysia regarding the crooked bridge or building a new link with Johor.

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Top image from Mahathir Mohamad Facebook page