KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today Malaysia and Singapore need at least three to four more bridges to facilitate traffic flow between the two countries.
The Prime Minister said that compared to Penang, which now plans to build its third bridge to the mainland in the form of a tunnel, the traffic flow in Singapore is much bigger.
“Even Penang, which has less population than Singapore, at first rejected the first bridge but then, subsequently, we built another bridge and now we want a tunnel, and that’s (just) Penang and the mainland.
“Singapore traffic is much bigger than Penang’s. We only have one causeway and a bridge. We need at least three to four more bridges,” he said during a question-and-answer session at the Invest Malaysia 2019, here, today.
Dr Mahathir said Singapore, however, does not want any more bridges for some reason that he himself does not understand.
On the water deal with Singapore, Dr Mahathir gave the assurance that Malaysia and Singapore are not going to war over it.
“We are nice people...we will try to negotiate like civilised people,” he said.
The water agreement between the two countries has been a thorny issue.
Singapore pays just three sen per thousand gallons for the raw water it buys from Malaysia and sells treated water to Johor at 50 sen per thousand gallons. The water deal was agreed to in 1926 and will remain in force until 2061.
Malaysia wants Singapore to pay more for the raw water it draws from Johor.
On another matter, Dr Mahathir reiterated his call that the South China Sea, where territorial disputes abound, should remain open to all vessels, even warships, to navigate through.
He stressed that the freedom, however, should not grant any warship the authority to permanently station itself in any part of the waters as this will be provocative to the surrounding nations.
“That’s not what we want to see in the South China Sea,” he said. — Bernama