KUALA LUMPUR - The Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link is on track to be completed by end-2026, as the foreign ministers of Singapore and Malaysia noted the good progress in the project.
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and his Malaysian counterpart Zambry Abdul Kadir took stock of their countries’ bilateral relationship on Monday during Dr Balakrishnan’s visit, said Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
“They noted the good progress on the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link project and looked forward to the commencement of passenger services by end-2026,” it added.
When the 4km rail shuttle service is operational, passengers will be able to travel from Woodlands to Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru, or in the other direction, in five minutes. It can serve up to 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction.
Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority on Monday said more than a million travellers passed through the land checkpoints during the year-end holiday season in 2022, with about 361,000 crossing daily.
In December 2022, Malaysia’s Mass Rapid Transit Corp CEO Mohd Zarif Hashim disclosed that the RTS project was not affected by the recent change in government, and that it was more than 20 per cent completed.
“The RTS project received its approval from Malaysia back in 2019. We have made good progress so far and it will continue,” he told reporters during a seminar on RTS and its impact on the Johor property market.
On Monday, both foreign ministers also discussed expanding bilateral collaboration, especially in new areas such as the digital and green economies, according to MFA.
Reaffirming the bilateral ties, Dr Balakrishnan invited Datuk Seri Zambry to make an official visit to Singapore.
Dr Balakrishnan was also granted an audience with Malaysia’s King, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, at Istana Negara on Monday afternoon.
“During the audience, His Majesty and Minister Balakrishnan reaffirmed the excellent ties between Singapore and Malaysia, and our commitment to strengthening bilateral cooperation,” said MFA.
Dr Balakrishnan is on a four-day visit to Malaysia till Wednesday.
MFA said on Sunday that the visit “underscores the longstanding friendship and close ties between Singapore and Malaysia, and aims to strengthen bilateral cooperation with the new Malaysian government”.
Dr Balakrishnan will meet Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim during his visit. He will also call on Malaysia’s Transport Minister Anthony Loke, Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli, Defence Minister Mohamad Hasan, and Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.
The Singapore minister, who is accompanied by MFA officials, will also be meeting other Malaysian politicians and personalities, the MFA statement said on Sunday.
Source : Straits Times January 17th 2023