PUTRAJAYA, (April 7) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Monday he has proposed a “Friendship Bridge” to improve road connectivity and to serve as the symbol of growing friendship between Malaysia and Singapore.
The proposal was a long-term initiative that called for discussions on many aspects as well as detailed studies that had to be conducted together by the two countries, he said.
Najib disclosed this at the joint press conference with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong after they had wrapped up their two-day annual Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat in Putrajaya.
“I like to stress (that) it is a long-term initiative, looking at the road links between Malaysia and Singapore.
“I propose to have a Friendship Bridge that would certainly enhance road connectivity, improve the environment as well as create much stronger links between the two countries and (serve) as the symbol of growing friendship between our two countries,” Najib said.
It is learnt that the new link would be one way to address traffic congestion on the causeway and facilitate seamless travel between the two countries.
Lee said that among the factors that needed to be looked at were the capacity of traffic and the processing time at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex.
“Right now, our occupation is to improve the flow at the CIQ because, in the morning, the traffic comes in to Singapore. I think the queue is very long, it takes two hours.
“We are concentrating on improving the CIQ. For the long term, I can imagine and foresee, we need to widen our links across the Strait of Johor and we should study now how we can develop, for the long term, the new link,” he said.
The Malaysia-Singapore Leaders Retreat is a platform for the leaders of the two countries to take stock of the bilateral co-operation.
It is hosted alternately by Malaysia and Singapore and provides the leaders with an avenue to explore and discuss new initiatives and further collaboration which can strengthen bilateral ties. –BERNAMA