Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Malaysia & Singapore mull undersea tunnel option

PUTRAJAYA: An undersea tunnel between Malaysia and Singapore is an option being considered by both countries, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said yesterday.

He said the tunnel was being considered to realise the rapid transit system between Johor Baru and Woodlands in Singapore, as agreed upon by the two countries at a meeting in May.

An undersea tunnel involved high cost but it was an option that was more environment-friendly.

"We have some options but still have to sit down seriously to discuss with the Singapore side to come up with an agreement on how to jointly develop this," Kong said after an Aidilfitri reception at the ministry here.

He said one option was to build another causeway which did not involve a high cost but was not environment-friendly.

Constructing a bridge was yet another option, but the type of bridge would have to be determined because merchant vessels continued to use the Straits of Johor separating Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, Kong added.

"I think for the future development of the connectivity between Malaysia and Singapore, we cannot depend on the Causeway alone. Trains may make only two or three trips a day... but for the continual flow of people between Singapore and Johor Baru, we need more permanent and efficient transportation, besides taxis or buses."

Under the agreement reached in May, Johor Baru and Singapore are to be linked by a rapid transit system by 2018.

*Taken from NST Online

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