Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on Thursday (Oct 17) said Malaysia will proceed with the 4km Johor Bahru to Singapore rail line.
His comments about the Rapid Transit System (RTS) rail link come after those of Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke who said that details of the project will be decided by the Malaysian Cabinet within two weeks.
Dr Mahathir said: “We will proceed with the RTS but we will take some time.”
The RTS comes under efforts to reduce traffic congestion at popular entry points, Tuas Checkpoint and Woodlands Checkpoint.
The RTS line would link Johor Bahru’s Bukit Chagar Station to the upcoming Woodlands North Station in Singapore.
Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng added that it is a “pressing issue” to reduce traffic congestion at the two Johor land links with Singapore, which are used by more than 300,000 Malaysians daily, a Straits Times article reported.
Work on the rail was to begin earlier this year, with the operational date set for December 2024, however, due to delays from Putrajaya, the project had been postponed.
In April this year, Malaysia and Singapore agreed to suspend the project until Sept 30, with Malaysia to reimburse the Republic S$600,000 for abortive costs, while the Pakatan Harapan administration reviewed ways to lower the project cost.
Mr Loke had said the original plan to set the one-way fare at RM15 (S$4.90) is expensive for Malaysians who travel to Singapore daily for work.
Last month, Malaysia’s Transport Ministry said both countries had agreed to extend the deadline to Oct 31 to decide on the project with no additional cost. /TISG