Melaka state exco announces plan to build 120km route across the sea to connect with Indonesia

Image credits: BERNAMA

For many Malaysians, travelling to different countries by car isn’t difficult to do. This is especially true in the case of our close borders with other neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Thailand, and Brunei. However, it may seem that Indonesia could potentially be added to the list, after a Melaka state exco claims that a proposal to build a connecting route from the state to Indonesia is in the works.

120km route connecting Melaka to Indonesia will take 20 years to build

State executive councillor Ab Rauf Yusoh revealed the plan of building a 120km underwater tunnel or bridge that may take 20 years to complete. Image credits: BERNAMA

On September 8, Bernama reported that Melaka investment, industry, entrepreneur development and cooperatives committee chairman Ab Rauf Yusoh disclosed the plan of building a 120km link over the sea between Melaka, Malaysia and Dumai in Sumatra, Indonesia in partnership with the private sector. The proposed development would require 20 years to complete and is expected to have a major impact on the economic development of both countries once finished.

“The proposal on the project has been submitted by the private sector and both countries have in principle agreed to a detailed study on the matter,” said Ab Rauf.

He furthermore told reporters that on the part of the state government, they have brought all government agencies to visit the area where the proposed new route will be built.

Inspired by the “One Belt One Road” concept

Ab Rauf clarified that the route was to be built based on the concept of ‘One Belt One Road’, and that it would be a new icon for both Malaysia and Indonesia. This concept was the brainchild of Chinese President Xi Jinping, which includes a series of infrastructure projects that aim to improve connectivity across the continents of Asia, Africa, and Europe.

According to Bernama, he also added that the project will involve the construction of various infrastructures such as traffic dispersal areas and the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) Complex. Moreover, there are more plans to establish a new industrial site that would house various activities developed in stages in Masjid Tanah.

The Melaka Corporation would be carrying out the area’s development, and this may also contribute to the opening of a new town in Masjid Tanah.

Not the first time it was proposed

The project was apparently proposed back in May by Chief Minister of Melaka, Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali. He told Bernama that this may be a long-term plan that can help boost the gross domestic product growth of Melaka.

However, they still require the agreement and approval of the Indonesian government to implement the project.

Although this ambitious development plan may appear innovative, not many were on board with the idea. Free Malaysia Today reported that Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong has urged the state executive councillor to stop making “incomplete and irresponsible” announcements like this.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

He asked the state government to first prioritise showing a feasibility study and cost-benefit analysis based on the project, and to not only provide “generalised claims” about the proposed link being economically beneficial for the country without proper facts and analysis.

This is to ensure that there will not be any more white elephants or abandoned projects in the state.

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Also read: M’sian government looking to build drag race circuits in every state to enhance local motorsports industry

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