As you would have read by now, Malaysia has unilaterally announced their plans on building a 1.2km sheltered pedestrian walkway on the existing motorcycle lanes along the Woodlands-Johor Bahru Causeway. This me, literally:
If there’s one unilateral move that I am supportive of it would be this – mainly because this would make it more convenient for my weekend makan and chill sessions at JB.
According to news reports, State Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee Chairman Mohd Solihan Badri said that the walkway does not require any permission from the Singapore government because it would be built along the available pavement area at the Causeway.
Well, Encik Solihan Sir, I do hope you plan to connect the sheltered walkway with Singapore’s current pedestrian walkway and we can make a nice long sheltered path across both countries for all – of which this would somehow require some sort of permission or discussion your abang-abang worker cannot suddenly just come and ketuk-ketuk (knock-knock) on our pavement right? But I’m sure both sides will come to some form of discussion to sort this part out (well, they better). Please don’t flip-flop on this, please!
But what would be great is if the Singapore-Johor Bahru Rapid Transit System (RTS) project would get back on track (no pun intended) after the six-month suspension till 30 Sep. I mean, why walk if you can train, right? Its faster and accessible for all, especially for those who commute daily between these two countries. Kesian lah our abang-abang and kakak-kakak who have to go back and forth. Penat, you know.
And another thing that our neighbours can worked on is the efficiency of Sultan Iskandar Shah Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex. I mean, come on lah abang-abang kakak-kakakcheckpoint. I guess the job can get monotonous, but we all have places to go, things to do and people to meet!
And is not we say one, but even your previous Works, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee Chairman Mazlan Bujang said in 2018 that he himself has received public feedback that officers frequently turned up late for work, which caused immigration counters to not open up on time. Meanwhile, other officers would surf their handphones while on duty, making worse the congestion problem. Jangan lah like that. You fasterly clear us, then we can fasterly move on! Tolong, tolong!
I’ve shamelessly written down my walkway wish list to Malaysia. Who knows, someone may just chance upon this article and think, “Oh not bad, maybe can suggest to my boss!”:
- The sheltered walkway fully protects users from rain and shine, especially since our regional weather has been quite coconuts lately. When it’s hot, it burns, and when it rains, it pours.
- The walkway is air-conditioned, or at least well ventilated and is non-smoking all the way. I mean, if I wanted to breathe in carbon monoxide, might as well I walk at the roadside right? Think of families with young kids who chooses to walk across the Causeway. I’m sure you can tahan and smoke once you’ve cleared Customs. Or just smoke before lah, just not during.
- The walkway is accessible to all abled and disabled users, so this would include ramps, side handles for the elderly, good lighting and things like that. Imagine this: Singapore and Malaysia builds the world’s first accessible bridge that is family, elderly and disabled-friendly. I tried googling and so far there doesn’t seem to be any bridge that meets this requirement, so who knows!
- And not only is it friendly to humans, let’s make it environmentally friendly too! Let’s have solar panels to generate energy for lighting and ventilation! I mean guys, come on – we have a real shot at making this a really great pavement.
- Of course, practically it has to be able to manage large-scale human traffic that we usually see during long weekends and public holidays. It would be a real disaster if there’s some form of stampede and then I lose my packet of Ramlee Burger Special on the way back home. That would be so heartbreaking because you should know that I love your roadside burgers (pro tip: the Abang Burger near Taman Suria makes the greatest Ramlee Burger).
Most of all, I hope this sheltered pedestrian walkway is another manifestation of our bilateral relations’ building bridges. We’re so connected in different ways, why not add one more? I am truly looking forward to this sheltered walkway (as well as the RTS, and a more efficient CIQ). Please don’t prata this!