JOHOR BARU, Oct 30 — The Singapore government will commit to enhancing and making full use of the Causeway’s capacity connecting it with Johor, which will see a redevelopment of the current Woodlands’ customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) building.
The republic’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that his government is trying its best to improve the connectivity on Singapore’s side of the Causeway amid frequent congestion there.
“With the redevelopment, we will have more capacity and bigger volumes and a faster [traffic] flow. This will include reclamation to tear down the existing structure and enlarging the footprint.
“I have explained this to Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in our meeting and I’m happy that he supports our project,” he said at a joint press conference with Anwar broadcast live from the 10th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat in Singapore.
Anwar said traffic congestion at the Causeway previously caused a huge problem, particularly for Malaysian workers from Johor.
However, he said the situation has now improved.
Anwar also assured his Singapore counterpart that Malaysia would facilitate the provision of land to the republic for its planned redevelopment of its CIQ.
He explained that the redevelopment requires land that is currently under Malaysian authority.
“We can facilitate the sale, so that Singapore can have the facility to then make sure that the (traffic) flow is made easier, both for Malaysian workers to Singapore and Singaporeans coming particularly during the weekends into Johor,” he said.
Earlier, Lee was responding to a question on efforts to ease the traffic congestion at Singapore’a side of the land border checkpoints, especially on the Causeway’s via Woodlands.
He said that both Malaysia and Singapore are working closely to make full use of the Causeway’s capacity.
“The traffic flow depends not just on how wide the Causeway is, but also on the clearance on both sides of the CIQ in Johor Baru and Woodlands,” he explained.
Lee also highlighted Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi’s efforts to ease traffic congestion on the Malaysian side of the checkpoint in Johor Baru.
On the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link, Lee said the project is on track for completion by the end of 2026.
He added that the RTS Link is a key project to increase connectivity for both Malaysia and Singapore.
The RTS Link is a four-kilometre shuttle service between Singapore at Woodlands North station and Malaysia at Bukit Chagar station here.
Once operational, the RTS Link will be capable of serving up to 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction, on journeys that will take about five minutes.