TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Malaysia gives ‘in-principle' nod to $1.34b Johor-Singapore rail

The Cabinet is assessing costs and other final details.

Malaysia’s Cabinet has approved in principle the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project, Malay Mail Online reports. The project is expected to cost $1.34b (RM4b) and will operate from Bukit Chagar in Johor to the Woodlands North station in Singapore.

However, Malaysian transport minister Anthony Loke said the Cabinet is still looking into the cost and other final details. If the Cabinet approves of the project, then Malaysia and Singapore would have to set up a joint venture (JV) company as the RTS involves two separate countries.

He said the project has been delayed for two months due to the 14th general election (GE14) and the formation of a new government. Despite the delay, the project is expected to be completed in six years time by 2024.

The 30 June deadline for the formation of a JV between Prasarana Malaysia Bhd and Singapore’s SMRT Corporation Ltd to operate the RTS link has reportedly been missed.

Loke said the federal government would not have to pay any compensation to Singapore despite the delay in the RTS project implementation. “The issue does not arise because we have not signed the agreement yet, only involves a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that demonstrates our commitment, so there is no compensation,” he said.

On January this year, Malaysia and Singapore signed a legally-binding agreement to build the link. The cross-border service, slated to start running by end-2024, will run above ground in Johor and on a 25m-high bridge track across the straits before travelling underground to Woodlands North in the island republic.

The RTS trains are expected to carry up to 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction. 

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