Malaysia asks for more time on JB-S'pore rail link
KUALA LUMPUR The Malaysian government is seeking more time, until September, to deliberate on the Rapid Transit System (RTS) project linking Johor Baru and Singapore.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said this was to enable the government to study the project's cost which was estimated at RM4 billion (S$1.3 billion), to reduce it further, and how the project would be utilised.
"We are asking for more time from Singapore for us to study other options. We are asking for a six-month extension," he told reporters.
The RTS was among several rail projects lined up by the previous Barisan Nasional government, which Pakatan Harapan defeated at the May 9 polls.
Singapore's Acting Transport Minister Vivian Balakrishnan told Parliament early last month that Malaysia had asked for another extension of the deadline to March 31.
He had said then that the RTS service was no longer on track to start operations by Dec 31, 2024.
The project would cover 4km with a rail link between Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru and Woodlands in Singapore, with the capacity to ferry 10,000 passengers an hour.
Dr Balakrishnan had said on March 7 that both governments were at the stage where they were obliged to jointly call an open tender to appoint an operating company or OpCo.
"In the spirit of bilateral cooperation, Singapore has been willing to engage Malaysia on its proposals for Malaysia's joint venture (JV) partner for the RTS Link OpCo," he said.
"Unfortunately, Malaysia has repeatedly delayed confirming its JV partner." - THE STAR, THE STRAITS TIMES
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