Johor Sultan calls for bridge to replace Causeway

(Bernama) – Sultan Ibrahim of Johor today called for a new bridge to replace the Causeway to Singapore.

Speaking at the investiture ceremony to mark his 52nd birthday here, he said the bridge would be convenient for people travelling to Singapore and back, and encourage tourists from the neighbouring country.

“I appreciate that the government is caring and constantly striving to tackle problems facing the people. However, there is one wish of the people of Johor that has yet to be fulfilled, and that is for a bridge to replace the Causeway,” he said at Istana Besar.

Replacing the Causeway would enable water in the straits to flow unhindered and at the same time improve the environment, he added.

Present at the ceremony were his consort, Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, Tunku Mahkota Ismail, Tunku Temenggong Idris Iskandar and the president of the Johor Royal Council, Tunku Osman Tunku Temenggong Ahmad.

Also at the ceremony were Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman and his wife Datin Prof Jamilah Ariffin, state executive councillors and assemblymen and senior government officials.

The Sultan urged the people to live in a spirit of give and take and moderation, and to respect one another without regard to race in line with the Johor Government’s motto “Muafakat Itu Berkat (Consensus Is a Blessing).”

He said community leaders should strive to unite the people and emphasise the common good rather than individual or political interests.

“In Johor, the people, regardless of whether they are Malays, Indians or Chinese, are all citizens of my state. The rights and interests of everyone will be protected. So do not rake up the past that might cause dissatisfaction and arouse suspicion,” he said.

 The Sultan advised the people to seize the opportunities resulting from rapid development in the state, including jobs being offered in the Iskandar Malaysia development region.

He also announced the establishment of Yayasan Sultan Ibrahim which will give scholarships to poor students and medical and other assistance to senior citizens and the disabled.

He said the foundation would be funded by the royal allowance that he received.

The Sultan conferred the titles “Duli Yang Maha Mulia” on Raja Zarith Sofiah and “Yang Amat Mulia Enche Besar” on his mother Hajah Khalsom Abdullah.

He also conferred on Kalsom the “Darjah Kerabat Pangkat Pertama”, the

highest state award, and the “Pangkat Pertama Datuk Seri Setia Sultan Ismail Johor” on Tunku Temenggong Ismail.