The propose Melaka-Sumatera bridge will span 52km long and costing nearly US $12.5 billion.

The propose Melaka-Sumatera bridge will span 52km long and costing nearly US $12.5 billion.

A project to build a bridge linking Melaka and Sumatera will proceed when approvals are given by the Malaysian and Indonesian governments, said Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.

The 52km bridge costing nearly US$12.5 billion (US$1 = RM3.54) will link Teluk Gong in Melaka to Dumai, Sumatera.

Mohd Ali said the project would take nine years to complete.

The chief minister however, hoped the two governments would soon give the approval to build the bridge.

He was speaking to reporters at the Straits of Malacca Bridge Project seminar organised by Strait of Malacca Partners Sdn Bhd here today.

The aim of the seminar was to explain to Malaysian and Indonesian representatives, the architectural design, engineering and financial assistance required to build the bridge.

Mohd Ali told the representatives that if the bridge was built, it could benefit the economic sector of the two countries because transportation would be faster, as compared to shipping or ferrying, and reduce the influx of illegal Indonesians into the country.

The idea to build the bridge linking Melaka and Sumatera came from former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad but it was shelved due to the economic crisis in Asia in 1997-1998.

— BERNAMA