By Massita Ahmad
SINGAPORE, April 21 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is committed to ensure that the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project will be continued, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke.
“We are working on the supplementary agreement for six months and looking at other options on how to reduce the cost,” said Loke at a joint press conference with Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan after a welcome ceremony for Firefly’s inaugural landing at Seletar Airport here today.
The Malaysian government had early this month requested a six-month extension until September from Singapore to make a decision on the RTS Link project.
A bilateral agreement on the RTS Link was signed in January 2018 during the previous Barisan Nasional administration.
The project was initially scheduled for construction this year and was expected to be completed by December 2024.
It was aimed at addressing congestion in the daily commute between the two countries.
The RTS Link project would cover 4km of rail linking Bukit Chagar, Johor Bahru and Woodlands, Singapore, with the capacity to ferry 10,000 passengers per hour.
Meanwhile, Khaw said that the bilateral agreement does not provide suspension unlike that of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail.
“However, in the spirit of bilateral relations we can always work out some amendments,” he said, adding that “the immediate first step is to settle, finalise and sign the supplementary agreement which can be done soon.”
Updating on a high-level committee set up to review the existing airspace arrangement in which Singapore air traffic controllers manage airspace over southern Johor, Khaw said: “They are in the process of talking (off).”
“The first step is to settle the terms of reference. My advice to them don’t spend too much time arguing over terms of reference...get the process going,” he said.
The committee is co-chaired by Malaysia's secretary-general of transport and Singapore's permanent secretary for transport.
“With a right good will...win win... we can always find common ground and some win-win solutions...these I’m very confident,” said Khaw.
The Malaysian government plans to retake control of the airspace over southern Johor.