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Malaysia wants expedited talks on bridge construction resumption

PASIR MAS (BERNAMA) – Malaysia will immediately begin negotiations with Thailand on the construction of the second Rantau Panjang-Sungai Golok bridge near the border of both countries.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said talks should be expedited following a joint statement by the two countries during Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s visit to Thailand on February 26.

“The Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Prime Minister of Thailand issued a joint statement, among others, to resume negotiations to expedite projects involving both countries like the construction of this bridge.

“The government had earlier approved an allocation of MYR210 million in November 2020 for the construction of a 116-metre long bridge to overcome several issues like traffic congestion going in and out of both countries, apart from boosting the economy,” he told reporters after visiting the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) complex yesterday.

Mustapa said construction had to be postponed due to several factors that needed the agreement of both countries to proceed and also because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The negotiations needed the agreement of both nations because it involved the length of the bridge, design, construction sharing costs and other issues.

“We hope all issues raised can be overcome quickly because both leaders before this had agreed to return to the negotiation table,” he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on his visit to the ICQS, Mustapa said the visit was to monitor the latest developments of the Rantau Panjang-Sungai Golok bridge project and the new ICQS project that was approved in the 12th Malaysian Plan (12MP).

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed visits the proposed location for the second Rantau Panjang-Sungai Golok bridge. PHOTO: BERNAMA

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