Singapore keen to extend walkway on Causeway

ISKANDAR PUTERI (BERNAMA) – The Singapore Government has shown interest in extending the proposed covered walkway on its side of the Causeway to reduce congestion and improve public safety.

Johor Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport Committee Chairman Mohd Solihan Badri said the request was conveyed to him by Singapore’s Consulate-General in Johor Bahru, two months ago.

“First, we (the state government) submitted the proposal to build the 350-metre long walkway to the Federal government to get an allocation. The construction will involve the Home Ministry and Works Ministry as the Johor Causeway is maintained by the Malaysian Highway Authority.

“Secondly, Singapore Consulate officials in Johor Bahru who met me expressed interest in the project. They asked for the design of the walkway so to submit a proposal to their government to extend the walkway,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Johor state assembly proceedings at the Sultan Ismail Building yesterday.

Mohd Solihan said Singapore’s intention showed that the republic was also concerned about the pedestrians who had to walk across the Causeway, which was estimated to be used by hundreds of people every day before the movement control order was enforced in March to curb the spread of COVID-19.

He said at the initial stage, the Johor government applied for an allocation of MYR15 million for the walkway, however, it was increased to MYR30 million earlier this year after it was redesigned with the addition of escalators and was covered as well as equipped with air conditioning.

“The distance of 350 metres ends at the border with Singapore, however, for Singapore, I’m not sure how long the distance is going to be. For our part of the route, the construction cost is via the Finance Ministry and its implementation is by the Works Ministry,” he added.

According to Mohd Solihan, pedestrians were actually prohibited on the Johor Causeway but no action has been taken by the authorities so far.