Singapore – Singapore and Malaysia signed a bilateral agreement on the Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link) on Tuesday to connect the City-State and Malaysia’s City Johor Bahru for its completion by 2024.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the eighth Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat.
Lee said the RTS Link is an important long-term cross-border project, and it would benefit thousands of daily commuters.
He said that it would equally reduce the congestion of Singapore-Johor Causeway, which links Johor Bahru across the Strait of Johor to the town of Woodlands in Singapore.
He said that the enhanced connectivity would boost economic cooperation in Iskandar Malaysia (IM).
Lee expressed optimism that the two countries would work closely together through the Joint Ministerial Committee for IM to foster a conducive business environment, enhance vocational and technical education training in skills that investors are looking for.
For his part, Najib said the RTS Link is a complex project but it is very durable, and the technical challenges could be overcomed.
“We are sanguine and optimistic that will change the nature of connectivity between Malaysia and Singapore.’’
According to the Land Transport Authority of Singapore, the bilateral agreement captures the key points of the agreement on the RTS Link project, including the technical, safety and security requirements, commercial, financing, procurement and regulatory frameworks, as well as customs, immigration and quarantine arrangements.
The authority said the RTS Link would have the capacity to carry up to 10,000 passengers per hour per direction.
To facilitate passenger flow, it would have co-located customs, immigration and quarantine facilities.
Passengers travelling in either direction would clear both Malaysia and Singapore authorities at the point of departure, and need not go through immigration clearance again at the point of arrival.
The two leaders also exchanged views on other topics relevant to bilateral cooperation, water supply, education and cultural cooperation at the retreat.