Home News RTS rail link connecting JB to delayed another 3 months due...

RTS rail link connecting JB to Woodlands delayed another 3 months due to coronavirus

The agreement concerning the S$1 billion RTS rail project has been moved to 31st July this year




- Advertisement -

Singapore—A further delay of three months has been agreed upon by Malaysia and Singapore to reach an agreement on the 4.2 km that would connect to Singapore’s district due to the current coronavirus crisis. This was announced by both countries’ transport ministries on May 2 (Saturday).

The agreement concerning the S$1 billion RTS rail project has been moved to the end of July of this year. In a statement, Wee Ka Siong, the Transport Minister of Malaysia, said that the talks concerning the planned link had been affected by the restriction on movement implemented to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Singapore’s Transport Ministry said in a separate statement that the three month extension would be the final one, and also said that it hoped talks with Malaysia to discuss the link would end soon.

“Like Malaysia, we are optimistic that the discussions on the outstanding matters can be concluded within three months, using tele-conferencing and other means of communication,” the statement read.

This is the third time that Malaysia has asked for an extension on the rail project, which not only connects to Woodlands, but also to Singapore’s metro train network. It was suspended in 2019 after the Mahathir administration announced plans to review existing deals and keep a tighter rein on its national finances.

- Advertisement -

Costs for the rail link went down from 4.93 billion ringgit (S$1.63 billion) to 3.16 billion ringgit (S$1 billion) after bilateral talks, the then Prime Minister Mahathir announced last October.

The link is perceived to be an important solution to persistent traffic problems on the Causeway between Singapore and Malaysia, which is used by around 300,000 people daily, the majority of whom are Malaysians who commute to Singapore to work. It was scheduled for completion in 2024. It has the capacity to transport around 10,000 passengers each way, which would serve to greatly lessen traffic congestion problems on the Causeway. 

Khaw Boon Wan, Singapore’s Transport Minister, took to social media to announce the delay on Saturday, posting on his Facebook account that while there have been active talks between the two countries on the proposed changes to the thus far, the project itself has been suspended since the first of April due to the coronavirus crisis.

He wrote, “The pace has been affected by a number of events, including the change of Government in Malaysia. COVID-19 has added a new spanner in the works. At Malaysia’s request, we have agreed to further extend the suspension, for a third and final time, to 31 July 2020. As this is a final extension, I have asked our teams (MOT, LTA and SMRT) to work immediately with their Malaysian counterparts to wrap up the discussions speedily.

Fortunately, technology is available for us to discuss and negotiate, though nothing quite replaces face-to-face dialogue. But it can’t be helped, this is an unusual time! I look forward to co-witnessing with Minister Wee Ka Siong the signing of the 3 agreements which will enable the to re-start.”


Read related: MOT: Malaysia’s decision to proceed with JB-S’pore RTS ‘welcome’

MOT: Malaysia’s decision to proceed with JB-S’pore RTS ‘welcome’

Please follow and like us:
- Advertisement -

Covid-19 relief funds: Man sentenced to 5 months in jail on 3 charges

Singapore – A former business development executive was sentenced to five months in jail on Thursday (Nov 19) on three cheating-related charges over Covid-19 relief funds. Chow Jia Chuan, 29, resigned from IT firm Tabsquare in April because he disliked his job...

Man charged with criminal trespass and defiling a statue of Mary in church

Singapore – A man was charged in court on Friday (Nov 20) with criminal trespass and  defiling a statue of Mary in a church along Upper Serangoon Road. Race Koh Jun Xian, 37, was alleged to have committed the offences at the...

NTUC, environmental group submit names of candidates for appointment as NMPs

Singapore — At least two groups have submitted the names of their candidates for appointment as  Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs), only days before the submission deadline of 4.30 pm on Monday (Nov 23). They are the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)...
Please follow and like us:
Follow Me