TANGKAK, 16 Jan 2009: The cancellation of the crooked bridge project to replace the Johor Causeway is the reason Johor Baru (JB) city centre is deserted, thus adversely affecting the business of traders there.
Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman who said this, explained that when the planned bridge project was cancelled, the government had to build a road link from the causeway to the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex, also known as the Sultan Iskandar Building.
For that, he said, the connecting road to Jalan Tanjung Puteri had to be closed and road users had to use the inner ring road to enter the city.
“The Sultan Iskandar Building was actually planned together with the bridge to Singapore to replace the Johor Causeway. If the bridge was built, a number of roads would be constructed too, passing through Tanjung Puteri for people to get to the city centre,” he added.
He was responding to complaints from business operators in the JB city centre that their business had been adversely affected by the construction of the short road link from the city centre to the CIQ complex.
Abdul Ghani had earlier witnessed the handing-over of welfare aid to recipients in conjunction with the Chinese New Year and to 220 flood victims from the Ledang district, by his wife Datin Paduka Prof Dr Jamilah Ariffin at Dewan Jubli Intan, here, today.
He further explained that the short road link from the city centre to the CIQ complex was only for a short term before another medium-term link could be built.
“But this link too cannot solve the traders’ problem of poor business as the passage to Tanjung Puteri will still be closed for construction work,” he said, adding that the problem could only be solved if the bridge project went on.
Abdul Ghani said the state government was studying the usage of the CIQ complex for one month before coming up with a plan to solve the city centre’s traders’ problem.
He said it was still too early to ascertain the effects of the CIQ complex as it was only opened late last year.
On another development, Abdul Ghani said the state government was studying the proposal for several tourism projects involving billions of ringgit in investment in Mersing, including the building of international-class resorts in Pulau Tengah and Pulau Sibu.
He said a coastal highway would also have to be built from Sedili in Kota Tinggi to Mersing, costing RM120 million, under the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) development programme.
“The consultant company appointed for the project is preparing the design of the highway, and construction is expected to start in the middle of this year through open tender.”
He said a study on the proposed tourism projects would also be carried out to ensure the projects would not have adverse effects on the environment. — Bernama