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Johor wants crooked bridge to Singapore revived

KUALA LUMPUR — Johor has asked the federal government to revive the crooked bridge project, said its Chief Minister Osman Sapian.

Johor Chief Minister Osman Sapian said the crooked bridge would help ease congestion into Singapore and reduce pollution in the Tebrau Straits.

Johor Chief Minister Osman Sapian said the crooked bridge would help ease congestion into Singapore and reduce pollution in the Tebrau Straits.

KUALA LUMPUR — Johor has asked the federal government to revive the crooked bridge project, said its Chief Minister Osman Sapian.

“We have proposed it to the prime minister and we hope that he will approve our request,” Mr Osman told reporters at the Parliament lobby on Tuesday (Oct 16).

He said the crooked bridge would help ease congestion into Singapore and reduce pollution in the Tebrau Straits.

According to Mr Osman, a Malaysian delegation headed by Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali will be heading to Singapore soon to discuss the proposal.

The crooked bridge project was first mooted by Dr Mahathir Mohamad to replace the causeway when he was prime minister during the Barisan Nasional administration.

In 2003, just before ending his 22-year tenure as prime minister, Dr Mahathir announced that Malaysia would go ahead and build a crooked bridge – a six-lane S-shaped highway that would curve in such a way that it allows vessels to pass under it – if Singapore refused to demolish its half of the Causeway.

Besides the crooked bridge, Mr Osman said, the delegation will also discuss the third bridge proposal and review the price of water supplied to the island republic.

Under the 1962 Water Agreement, Singapore’s national water agency, PUB, may draw 250 million gallons of raw water from Sg Johor daily at 3 sen per 1,000 gallons.

In return, Johor is entitled to receive a daily supply of up to five million gallons of treated water – or 2 per cent of the water supplied to Singapore – at 50 sen per 1,000 gallons.

Singapore has said the cost of treatment is RM2.40 per 1,000 gallons, while Malaysia sells the treated water to Johor citizens at RM3.95 for the same amount.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had earlier stressed that the 1962 Water Agreement between the two neighbours is "sacrosanct" at this year’s National Day Rally in August.

"We must proceed strictly in accordance with its terms," he said.

Mr Lee also pointed out that Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan had also spelled out Singapore's position in Parliament to "avoid any misunderstanding".

Dr Balakrishnan had told Parliament that the 1962 agreement was guaranteed by both Singapore and Malaysia in the 1965 Separation Agreement, which was in turn registered with the United Nations.

"Any breach of the agreement would call into question the Separation Agreement, which is the basis for Singapore's very existence as an independent sovereign state," said the minister, adding that “neither Malaysia nor Singapore can unilaterally change the terms of this agreement between our two countries”. AGENCIES

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