KUALA LUMPUR: The proposed “crooked bridge” by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian is merely a suggestion to please Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as it has been the dream of the prime minister to replace the Johor-Singapore causeway, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
Dr Wee, a former cabinet minister, said that no prior studies were done by the Works Department (JKR) on the cost of building the controversial “crooked bridge”, and pointed out that it could lead to larger leakages in government funds.
According to the Ayer Hitam MP, the idea of the “crooked bridge” was first mooted in 2003 and was shelved in 2006, pointing out that the contract, which was awarded to Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd, had an estimated cost of RM1.113bil.
A total of RM257.4mil was paid to Gerbang Perdana and RM67.8mil was paid to subcontractors as compensation for shelving the project in 2006, said Dr Wee to reporters when met at the Parliament lobby on Tuesday (Oct 13).
“If that is the total cost, so that means it hasn’t taken into account the construction work that was completed as of 2006, which means that there is a hidden cost.
“That is why I want to know how many hundreds of millions were spent from the estimated cost of RM1.113bil, ,” he said.
“When the JKR did not conduct any studies (over the cost), it seemed as though the announcement made by the Johor Mentri Besar is just to satisfy the PM, because it is Dr Mahathir’s dream to replace the Johor-Singapore Causeway with the ‘crooked bridge’,” he added.
Dr Wee, without mincing his words, said that the main issue was to improve bad traffic between Singapore and Johor, as he pointed out that Malaysians and Singaporeans spent hours just to commute between the two countries.
“If we build the ‘crooked bridge’ which has six lanes, it could fit more vehicles. But, traffic congestion would not be solved because the JKR said that they haven’t conducted a thorough study over the matter.”
At the same time, Dr Wee also said that Osman did not justify the need to revive the “crooked bridge” project.
“That is why I’m asking the government to look at this in a practical perspective. It shouldn’t be commenced just to fulfil an unfulfilled dream.
“We have to be practical about this, whether this bridge will address traffic congestion. Otherwise, it will be a waste,” he said.
“Please make a scientific study over the matter because we don’t want any wastage. We shouldn’t also flip-flop over the matter, because this could lead to a negative implication between Singapore-Malaysia relations,” he added.
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