SINGAPORE (April 22): Malaysia is committed to ensure that the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project will be continued, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke (pictured).
“We are working on the supplementary agreement for six months and looking at other options on how to reduce the cost,” he told a joint press conference with Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan after a welcome ceremony for Firefly’s inaugural landing at Seletar Airport here yesterday.
The Malaysian government had earlier this month requested a six-month extension until September from Singapore to make a decision on the RTS Link project.
A bilateral agreement on the RTS Link was signed in January last year under the previous Barisan Nasional administration.
The project was initially scheduled for construction this year and expected to be completed by December 2024.
It was aimed at addressing congestion in the daily commute between both countries.
The project will cover 4km of rail linking Bukit Chagar, Johor Bahru and Woodlands, Singapore, with the capacity to ferry 10,000 passengers per hour.
Meanwhile, Khaw said the bilateral agreement did not provide for a suspension unlike that of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail.
“However, in the spirit of bilateral relations we can always work out some amendments,” he said, adding that “the immediate first step is to settle, finalise and sign the supplementary agreement which can be done soon”.
Updating on a high-level committee set up to review the existing airspace arrangement in which Singapore air traffic controllers manage airspace over southern Johor, Khaw said: “They are in the process of talking.”
“The first step is to settle the terms of reference. My advice to them, don’t spend too much time arguing over terms of reference ... get the process going,” he said.
The committee is co-chaired by Malaysia’s secretary-general of transport and Singapore’s permanent secretary for transport.
“With a right goodwill ... win win ... we can always find common ground and some win-win solutions... these I’m very confident,” said Khaw.
The Malaysian government plans to retake control of the airspace over southern Johor.