Government awaits S’pore reply


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 30 Nov 2003

BY MAZWIN NIK ANIS       

KOTA TINGGI: Wisma Putra will find out why Singapore has not replied to a notice from Johor on the relocation of water pipes along the Causeway to make way for the construction of a new bridge. 

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said his ministry was aware that Singapore had yet to respond to the notice sent in October and would look into the matter. 

“But I am certain that this can be resolved amicably for the benefit of both countries. 

“I will also ask the ministry’s officials to sit with the developer and the state government to gather all the information that Singapore might need,” he said. 

He also defused concerns that Singapore might stall in approving the relocation of the water pipes, saying that any related issue would be addressed through discussions.  

Syed Hamid was speaking to reporters at a Hari Raya open house hosted by him and his wife Datin Seri Sharifah Aziah Zainal Abidin in his Kota Tinggi constituency. 

SPREADING JOY: Syed Hamid (right) greeting guests during his Hari Raya open house at his Kota Tinggi constituency Saturday.

Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman had recently said the state had yet to receive any response from the republic on the matter.  

The 80-year-old 2km Causeway will make way for the bridge, which is part of the RM2bil Southern Integrated Gateway project. 

Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd has been given a 33-year concession for the project. 

The project, which also includes a new Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex, the deepening of Tebrau Straits, a new railway station and connecting highways, is expected to be completed by end of 2005. 

On another matter, Syed Hamid said there would be a meeting between Malaysia and Singapore next month or January to name the independent experts and consultants appointed to study Singapore’s land reclamation project and its impact on the Straits of Johor. 

The meeting, to be held in Putrajaya, will be a follow-up to a recently held meeting, where senior officials from both countries had agreed to appoint a group of experts for the purpose. 

“The co-operation is a testimony that both countries are willing to work together for mutual benefit. This is also a reflection of our commitment to resolve issues through dialogue,” he said. 

Representatives of the two governments had met for three days from Nov 20 in Putrajaya to discuss several issues following an order by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to monitor the republic’s land reclamation works.  

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