Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Homese asiaSingapore needs to do its best to ease traffic on Causeway: Anwar

Singapore needs to do its best to ease traffic on Causeway: Anwar

SINGAPORE – Malaysia has done its maximum to ease traffic congestion at the Johor Causeway, and it is now up to Singapore to reciprocate and address the issue, Malaysia Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said on the sidelines of a summit in Singapore on Wednesday.

Datuk Seri Anwar commended the Malaysian Immigration Department, Customs Department and other agencies for tackling the issue and bringing about improvement to the traffic condition.

“The agencies have been supportive, and we see a major change,” Mr Anwar told reporters after speaking at the Milken Institute Asia Summit 2023.

“I was there (Johor Bahru) a few weeks ago and now Singapore needs to do its best to ease the traffic,” he added.

In August, he announced that his government had designated the multi-billion ringgit Forest City project as a special financial zone to spur the economy in Iskandar Malaysia.

He listed some incentives including allowing for multiple entry visas, fast-track entry for those working in Singapore and a flat income tax rate of 15 per cent for knowledge workers.

He is confident that these incentives will attract many companies which are experiencing high operating costs in Singapore to relocate to Johor.

Mr Anwar, who is also Malaysia’s Finance Minister, participated in two sessions at the summit, organised by California-headquartered think-tank Milken Institute.

He also said Malaysia will take a tougher stance to recover more funds from Goldman Sachs if the US investment bank continues to refrain from engaging with his government over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

“We are not some banana republic that you can squander and leave.

“I will be in the United States next week, and we hope to find an amicable solution to this issue,” he said.

Mr Anwar added that the money laundering scandal would not have happened without the complicity of international financial institutions, particularly Goldman Sachs.

“Why can’t they engage and discuss. We do not want to prolong this,” he said, adding that Goldman Sachs has not been forthcoming over the matter.

Goldman Sachs agreed to pay US$2.5 billion (S$3.4 billion) in cash and return US$1.4 billion in assets in a settlement during former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration.

According to past reports, Goldman Sachs had helped 1MDB raise US$6.5 billion in two bond offerings that netted the bank US$600 million in fees. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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