Johor-Singapore rapid rail link project remains suspended till end-April: Khaw

PHOTO: Screen shot of Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan from GOV.SG YouTube account
PHOTO: Screen shot of Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan from GOV.SG YouTube account

SINGAPORE — The proposed Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link) project with Malaysia remains suspended till the end of next month, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan in Parliament on Wednesday (5 March).

Responding to Tampines Member of Parliament Cheng Li Hui’s query on the progress of the project, Khaw told the House that recent political developments in Malaysia will further impact the project. “While we remain committed to working with Malaysia to find a way forward, the project cannot be suspended indefinitely.”

He added, “We look forward to hearing from Malaysia soon.”

Last Sunday, Muhyiddin Yassin was appointed as Malaysia’s new Prime Minister following a week of political turmoil. Former premier Mahathir Mohamad has claimed that his successor does not command a majority in Parliament and has called for an early sitting of the Dewan Rakyat to verify this.

However, the next sitting, which was to take place on 9 March, has now been pushed back to 18 May.

Set to connect Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru to Woodlands, the RTS Link was supposed to be completed by 2024 but fell behind schedule due to Malaysia’s repeated delays in confirming its joint venture partner.

In May 2019, both countries signed an agreement to suspend the RTS project for six months, with Malaysia bearing the abortive costs of suspending the project amounting to some $600,000.

During his ministry’s Committee of Supply debate, Khaw also addressed possible options to relieve the Causeway jam, such as expanding current immigration facilities, and better distribution of traffic between the Causeway and the Second Link, as well as better distribution of traffic between peak and off-peak periods.

“We have been pursuing all these options but to move the needle meaningfully, the RTS Link is the answer.”

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