The proposed Johor-Riau link: a tunnel to nowhere?
Peninsular Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra are separated by a narrow funnel-shaped waterway of the Strait of Malacca. Plans have been made to link Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia through a bridge or a tunnel, with the objectives of boosting trade and tourism activities in the region. Nevertheless, as the proposed bridge would span across the Strait of Malacca which is now one of the world's busiest maritime chokepoints, this proposed project may face objections from the international maritime community. As an alternative, a suggestion has been made of constructing the Johor-Riau Link by tunneling the Strait instead. This article examines the positive and negative economic, political and legal implications should the Johor Riau Link project is carried out. This article concludes by reiterating that both Malaysia and Indonesia are not prepared for the construction of Johor-Riau Link, at least not at the current point of time.
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