The Malaysian government is not deciding on the Rapid Transit System Link project, risking a possible hefty compensation payable to Singapore.
According to The Star, Malaysia is seeking another six-month extension to review the RM4bil project. This is the third time the Malaysian government is requesting a delay.
The initial six-month grace period approved by Singapore expired on Sept 30 and was followed by a one-month extension.
On Oct 16, Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the final details of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) will be settled by the Malaysian Cabinet by the end of Oct 2019.
He said Malaysia’s federal government will discuss the details of the RTS in order to meet the Oct 31 deadline.
Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport had previously requested another month’s extension to finalize the details of the project without additional costs.
Construction of the RTS link has repeatedly been suspended following unsettled financing and operational agreements.
The Star was told that the latest request for a six-month extension was made known to Singapore on Monday – 48 hours before today’s deadline.
The delay may be due to the Transport Ministry not being able to resolve certain issues on its side, prompting the need for more time for the review.
These issues include the relocation of the RTS depot, currently proposed to be in Singapore, and the rail system to be used.
The Johor Bahru–Singapore Rapid Transit System or Singapore–Johor Bahru Rapid Transit System (RTS Link) is a planned cross-border rapid transit system that would connect Woodlands, Singapore and Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia, crossing the Straits of Johor.
It is scheduled to be completed by 2024.
On the other hand, Malay Mail today said Putrajaya is set to announce today that it will finally proceed with the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System.
It said after several postponements since the project was first inked in January 2018, things are going to speed up.
The online portal said the deal, which was originally drawn up between the former Barisan Nasional administration and the Singapore government, is crucial not just in terms of connectivity between the neighbouring country and Malaysia’s Southern Economic Corridor Iskandar Malaysia, but is expected to help solve another major issue: long-standing traffic congestion on the Causeway. -/TISG