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Published: Saturday June 26, 2010 MYT 9:28:00 AM
Updated: Saturday June 26, 2010 MYT 2:42:17 PM

Johor Sultan: Consider reviving bridge project (Update)

JOHOR BARU The Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has called on the government to reconsider reviving the bridge project to replace the Johor Causeway.

He said the causeway was very important to the people and the Johor sultanate since previous rulers had always been supportive of efforts to upgrade the causeway.

"Looking back, there is no doubt that the causeway is very important to the people.

"As such, the ancestors of my family since the late Sultan Ibrahim till my father, the late Sultan Iskandar had always been supportive of efforts to upgrade the causeway," he said when opening JB Sentral and launching the Kembara Mahkota Johor 2010 here Friday.

The proposal to build an S-shaped bridge, widely dubbed the 'crooked bridge', was mooted by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad but was scrapped by his successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2006.

On JB Sentral, Sultan Ibrahim said he was confident that the people were delighted with the successful completion of JB Sentral although the main component of the complex, that is, a bridge had yet to be implemented.

He said the opening of JB Sentral was historic event as his late father, Sultan Iskandar had opened the Sultan Iskandar Building which housed the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex on Dec 1, 2008.

According to Sultan Ibrahim, he himself was involved in the Sultan Iskandar Building, JB Sentral and bridge projects, which were approved in 2003, by offering his views.

"When the government encountered a problem in finding a suitable site in Johor Baharu to relocate the residents of Lumba Kuda and Bukit Chagar flats, my late father gave permission for 27 acres of the Johor Sultanate land in Kampung Bakar Batu to be used to resettle the residents affected by the projects.

"This is an indication of the palace's support to enable the projects to get off the ground in the interests of the people," he said.

While commending the federal government and state governments for the successful completion of Sultan Iskandar Building and JB Sentral, Sultan Ibrahim also expressed his pleasure as both projects were completed on schedule by Bumiputera contractors from the state.

He hoped more government projects would be awarded to Bumiputera contractors from the state as they had proven their ability to develop mega projects.

Sultanah Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris, Tunku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ismail, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin and Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman were present.

In an immediate response, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in Kuanatan Saturday that the government would look into the call to revive the bridge project to replace the Johor Causeway.

"We will look into it," he said when asked to comment on the Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar's call for the government to revisit its original plan to build the bridge.

Najib did not elaborate.

He had earlier opened the "Mengukuh Wadah Memperkasa Ummah" convention organised by the Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM), here.

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