Johor MB, excos visit Dr M amid rumour of renewed tensions with state ruler over RTS project

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal speaks to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at his office in Putrajaya May 3, 2019. — Picture via Facebook/DrSahruddin
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal speaks to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at his office in Putrajaya May 3, 2019. — Picture via Facebook/DrSahruddin

KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal and members of the state exco paid a visit to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at his office in Putrajaya earlier today.

Dr Sahruddin said in a Facebook post after the visit that it was an honour to lead the new exco members in seeking the advice and views of a pre-eminent statesman with decades of experience.

“Many things were discussed and shared during the meeting, concerning the state of Johor. May the prime minister continue to be healthy in leading and administrating the country to a more progressive future,” Dr Sahruddin said.

The delegation’s visit comes amid reports of renewed tensions between Putrajaya and the Johor palace after plans to review the construction of the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) hit a snag.

Malaysiakini reported that a plot of land in Bukit Chagar supposedly owned by the federal government is now instead under Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar. The discovery was made by the Johor Land and Mines Department on January 28.

It is understood the 4.5-hectare plot of land was transferred to the sultan by the previous BN government between 2017 and 2018. In 2012, the plot was one of five lots received by the federal government as part of a land swap deal to construct the new Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex in Johor Baru.

This means Putrajaya may have to pay anywhere between RM495 and RM693 million to the royal palace to acquire the land, even as Transport Minister Anthony Loke had earlier said the federal government is seeking to lower the RTS’ costs.

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