Singapore Agrees To Delay RTS But Reserves Right To Claim Costs If Project Is Further Suspended: MOT

Singapore has agreed to Malaysia's request for an additional one-month suspension of the Rapid Transit System (RTS) project in the spirit of bilateral cooperation, and also agreed to waive additional costs incurred during the period.

But Singapore reserves the right to claim any additional costs incurred beyond Sept 30, should Malaysia request any further extensions of the suspension period, which will now end on October 31.

Both governments signed a bilateral agreement last year to build the 4km cross-border MRT link from Woodlands in Singapore to Bukit Chagar in Johor to help alleviate congestion on the Causeway.

But in March, Malaysia requested a six-month extension to respond to Singapore on issues relating to the RM4 billion (S$1.3 billion) project. Then in May, both countries agreed to suspend work on the RTS link until Sept 30.

As part of the deal, Malaysia agreed to reimburse Singapore more than $600,000 for abortive costs incurred as a result of the six-month suspension.

Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke had said in May that his government was looking at ways to reduce the cost of the RTS, including roping in the private sector. Mr Loke explained that reducing infrastructure costs would lower the fare structure in future, which would benefit passengers.

Last Saturday (Sept 28), Malaysia's The Star newspaper reported that the deadline was extended by another month after Mr Loke made the request at a recent meeting with his Singapore counterpart Khaw Boon Wan in Sepang.

At present, more than 367,000 people use the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complexes daily, with 254,000 people using the Johor Bahru side, while 113,000 people use the Second Link.

Photo credit: Land Transport Authority