Budget 2020: Where are the details on RTS project? ask Johor groups

Singapore Transport Minister, Khaw Boon Wan, visits Bukit Chagar, Johor to check out the progress of the RTS Link in April 2018. — Picture via Facebook/Khaw Boon Wan
Singapore Transport Minister, Khaw Boon Wan, visits Bukit Chagar, Johor to check out the progress of the RTS Link in April 2018. — Picture via Facebook/Khaw Boon Wan

JOHOR BARU, Oct 11 — Despite the government’s intention to proceed with the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link between Singapore and Johor Baru as a long-term solution, some are still waiting for details on the project.

RTS monitoring group representative Dr Tee Ching Seng said there were no details about the project after Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng made the announcement when tabling the Budget 2020 in Kuala Lumpur today.

He said the government should not keep people in the dark about the RTS project and hopes that Transport Minister Anthony Loke can offer more details.

“Our stand is very clear and we will give the government until the end of this month to provide details on the RTS project,” said Dr Tee.

Johor South SME advisor Teh Kee Sin also concurred with Tee on the lack of details regarding the RTS project.

He said the RTS project has been in the pipeline since the early years of Iskandar Malaysia, which coincided with former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s tenure.

“It has been 13 years since the project has been mooted and now the government should address the issue,” said Teh.

Their replies were in response to Lim’s earlier announcement that the government intends to proceed with the RTS Link as well as an investment of RM85 million by next year to address congestion at the Causeway and Second Link Crossing.

Earlier, during the tabling of the Budget 2020 in Parliament today, Lim said it was a pressing issue to improve the congestion problem at the Johor Causeway, which is used by more than 300,000 Malaysians daily to commute to Singapore.

He said that to address the congestion, the government will invest RM85 million beginning next year to enhance vehicle and traffic flow through the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex.

“An additional 50 counters will be opened for motorcyclists and with streamlining of immigration and Plus counters.

“As part of longer-term solution to address the congestion, the government intends to proceed with the RTS between Johor Baru and Singapore,” he said.

However, Lim did not provide further details on the matter.

In May of this year, Putrajaya and Singapore agreed to suspend the RTS link to allow Malaysia more time to study the scope, structure and cost of the project.

The 4km RTS link — which would connect Woodlands North station on Singapore’s Thomson-East Coast MRT Line to Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru — was targeted to begin operations by December 31, 2024.

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