Singapore-Desaru ferry service on hold until safety concerns are addressed: MPA, Latest Travel News - The New Paper

Singapore-Desaru ferry service on hold until safety concerns are addressed: MPA

A new ferry service between Singapore and Desaru in Johor has been put on hold until the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is satisfied that trips can be made safely, with the proposed route passing close to shoals and reefs and also exposed to the open sea.

MPA said on Sunday (April 3) that it has asked the appointed ferry operator, Batam Fast, to submit a navigational safety assessment for the two-hour route.

It has also been asked to provide an emergency response plan and testimonial that the ferries that it wants to use are fit for the journey.

"The proposed ferry route passes close to shoals and reefs, is exposed to the open sea, and also operates close to major sea lanes used by many large vessels. There will be additional risks during the monsoon seasons," MPA said.

"The proposed ferry service is new. We will grant the necessary approval for the proposed ferry service when we are assured that the proposed ferry service can operate safely."

If granted approval, the service will run between the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore and Desaru Coast Ferry Terminal in Johor.

Batam Fast, which operates numerous routes in the region connecting Singapore to Indonesia, submitted its proposal on March 23 after the Desaru Coast Ferry Terminal fully opened.

Malaysia's Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong has said that there will eventually also be services connecting Desaru with Batam and Bintan.