Dr Mahathir Mohamad has called for the construction of three to four more bridges between Malaysia and Singapore.
The prime minister compared the scenario to that of Penang, which now plans to build its third bridge connecting the island to the mainland in the form of a tunnel.
“Even Penang, which has a smaller population than Singapore, rejected the first bridge at first.”
“But subsequently, we built another bridge and now we want a tunnel, and that’s (just) Penang and the mainland.”
Saying that the traffic flow between Malaysia and Singapore was much greater, he called for increased connectivity.
“We need at least three to four more bridges,” he said during a question-and-answer session at the Invest Malaysia 2019 today.
Mahathir said Singapore, however, does not want any more bridges for reasons he does not understand.
On the water deal with Singapore, Mahathir (below) 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.
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.
Mahathir also went on to repeat his call for the South China Sea to remain open to all vessels, even warships.
He stressed that such freedom should not be abused and no warship should have the authority to permanently station itself in disputed 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.