People walk across the causeway linking Malaysia's southern state of Johor (top) and Singapore on Apr 1, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

Johor looking to build air-conditioned walkway on Malaysia-Singapore Causeway

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Johor is looking to build an air-conditioned walkway that will stretch about 350m along its side of the Malaysia-Singapore Causeway. 

The Johor state government has requested RM30 million (S$9.88 million) in funding from the Malaysian federal government for the walkway, said Johor public works, infrastructure and transport committee chairman Mohd Solihan Badri on Sunday (Sep 13).

The allocation request earlier this year was doubled from an initial RM15 million after a redesign to include escalators and air-conditioning, he added on the sidelines of the Johor state assembly proceedings at the Sultan Ismail Building.

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Under the proposal, the walkway will stretch 350m and end at the border with Singapore, said Mohd Solihan.

"For Singapore, I’m not sure how long the distance is going to be," he added.

It is estimated that hundreds of pedestrians crossed the Causeway daily on foot before Malaysia enforced the Movement Control Order in March to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Although no action has been taken by the authorities so far, pedestrians are actually prohibited on the Causeway, according to Mohd Solihan.

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Mohd Solihan also said that Singapore has shown interest in extending the proposed covered walkway on its side of the Causeway.

He said that several officials from the Singapore Consulate-General in Johor Bahru expressed interest in the project at a recent meeting.

“They asked for the design of the walkway so that they can submit a proposal to their government to extend the walkway,” added Mohd Solihan.