Crooked bridge wanted

(The Star) JOHOR BARU: Businessmen and the public here are optimistic that the crooked bridge project across the Straits of Johor will be revived under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

They believe the project would spur development within the city, which has been adversely affected since the opening of the new Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex.

South Johor SME Association president Teh Kee Sin said the bridge should be completed as there were too many turns leading to the present complex using the temporary access road from the old CIQ at the Causeway.

Johor Baru Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Datuk Soh Poh Sheng was confident that businesses in the city would boom if the bridge project was revived.

“The bridge will be a landmark for Johor Baru to attract more tourists to the city.

“I will not be surprised if our new prime minister revives the project,” he said.

Johor Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar said if the Govern–ment wanted to revive the project, it was important for a detailed study to be carried out as a lot of money had been spent on paying compensation.

“I hope the Government will do all the necessary studies before starting the project as we do not want it to end up as a casualty of another flip-flop policy,” he said.

Sivakumar said the bridge would ease the burden of those travelling daily as it would be shorter and pedestrians would, eventually, be able to walk across the Causeway on pedestrian lanes.

He believed Singapore and Malaysia would see the logic and mutual benefits to be gained from having the new bridge.

Taxi driver Azni Shukor, 46, said the new CIQ had long winding roads because it was actually designed to go with the bridge, suggesting a road to direct traffic into the city.

“If the bridge was built, the Govern–ment would not have to consider opening the old CIQ for pedestrians,” he added.

Stall operator Sivagami Kandasamy, 48, agreed with Azni, insisting that business had slowed down since the opening of the new CIQ in December last year.

Sivagami expects the new bridge to boost business and increase her in–come.