The development and improvement of transport access network to connect the areas in the state including Iskandar Malaysia are among the proposals suggested by the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) at the closed-door briefing with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad last night.
IRDA chief executive Ismail Ibrahim said the proposal was crucial to accommodate future developments in the state, encompassing various modes of transport including rail, roads, sea and land.
"It (improvement and development of transport access) does not necessarily concentrate on Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit project only. This concerns highways, roads that link the town centres, not only in Iskandar Malaysia but also across Johor.
"We look at the aspects such as the North-South Expressway which links not only Iskandar Malaysia but also across Johor and Peninsular Malaysia. We need to look at how the existing highway can accommodate usage based on the developments happening in Johor in the near and distant future," he said when met by reporters in Johor Bahru today.
He was commenting on IRDA’s closed-door briefing with Mahathir, who is also joint chairperson of IRDA, on the development progress in Iskandar Malaysia at a hotel near Kulai last night.
The briefing session was also attended by Johor Menteri Besar Dr Sahruddin Jamal who is also joint chairperson of IRDA and Johor state secretary and IRDA board member Azmi Rohani.
Ismail said besides the transport access network, the other proposals and views brought forth by IRDA at the briefing included issues on human capital and increasing community-based business, as well as business opportunities.
Elaborating further, he said Mahathir accepted the proposals and views made by IRDA while at the same time, he also gave his proposals and views on how the federal government and IRDA could work together to address the prevailing issues.
He said even though the briefing session with the prime minister was not the first being held, it was greatly appreciated by IRDA.
"Tun (Dr Mahathir) was positive on the efforts undertaken in Iskandar Malaysia and puts his trust that Iskandar Malaysia will continue to develop according to plan, based on the vision for the economic corridor," he said.