Singapore agrees to further extend RTS project suspension to July 31

Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said it was at Malaysia’s request, adding: 'We have agreed to further extend the suspension, for a third and final time.' — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said it was at Malaysia’s request, adding: 'We have agreed to further extend the suspension, for a third and final time.' — Picture by Miera Zulyana

SINGAPORE, May 2 — Singapore has agreed to further extend the suspension of the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project to July 31, 2020.

The republic’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said it was at Malaysia’s request, adding: “We have agreed to further extend the suspension, for a third and final time.”

Khaw noted that the RTS Link Project has been suspended since April 1, 2019 to allow Malaysia to review the project and to suggest changes for Singapore’s consideration.

“There have been active bilateral discussions on Malaysia’s proposed changes over the months. The pace has been affected by a number of events, including the change of Government in Malaysia.

“Covid-19 added a new spanner in the works,” said the minister in his Facebook update today.

As this is a final extension, Khaw said he has asked the teams—the Transport Ministry, the Land Transport Authority and SMRT Corp—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!” he said.

Khaw said he looks forward to co-witnessing with his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong “the signing of the three agreements which will enable the RTS Link Project to re-start.”

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, the Transport Ministry said one of the three agreements refers to the RTS Bilateral Link Agreement between the two Governments.

The other two refer to the Joint Venture Agreement between Singapore’s SMRT Corp and Malaysia’s Prasarana Malaysia Bhd to constitute a joint venture Operating Company or “OpCo”; and a Concession Agreement for the two Governments to appoint this OpCo as the RTS Link operator. — Bernama

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