The Malaysian government is mulling over an undersea tunnel connecting the town of Bagan Datuk in the state of Perak to Indonesia’s Sumatra Island, said Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
BAGAN DATUK, Perak (infolog): He said the project, currently in the planning stages, would be aimed at attracting Indonesian tourists as well as making Bagan Datuk a logistics hub.
“The physical planning has been approved but we will present it for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) as it involves the co-operation of other ASEAN countries,” he said at a Bagan Datuk TN50 dialogue in Serdang on Sunday (March 18).
Dr Zahid, who is also Bagan Datuk MP, said there had also been engagement from outside the state government on the proposed project.
“It is a private initiative and we passed it on to the private sector to get the approvals needed, besides those from the federal government, state government and Indonesian government,” he said, adding that the estimated cost of the project was more than US$20 billion (S$26.3 billion).
He said the plan was for the tunnel to also connect to Bali and Java.
“And from there, it will connect to the peninsular through Bagan Datuk. Everything begins from Bagan Datuk. This could attract tourists from Indonesia,” he said.
Malaysia is working on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed-Rail project, which was announced in 2010 and is slated for completion in 2026.
Prime Minister Najib Razak also announced the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, which connects Gombak, Selangor to Kota Baru, Kelantan, and is expected to be completed in 2024.
Mr Najib had previously described the ECRL as a “game changer” for the country. (todayonline.com/ac)