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Tue, May 25, 2010
The Star/Asia News Network
Najib and Lee all smiles after sealing KTMB land deal

SINGAPORE: Malaysia and Singapore have broken a 20-year impasse on the status of KTM Berhad (KTMB) land in the island republic, with leaders of both countries declaring they could now smile and move their bilateral relationship forward.

Malaysia will move its railway station at Tanjung Pagar to Woodlands. In exchange, three parcels of KTMB land - at Tanjung Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands here - would be jointly developed by a company.

Announcing the deal, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong told a press conference that the Points of Agreement (POA) signed by both countries in 1990 would have "enhanced features" and final details would be hammered out when they met again in a month's time in Malaysia.

Najib said the agreement reached at yesterday's retreat was historical and "we see light at the end of the tunnel.".

"We are both smiling," he said.

Standing beside Najib, Lee said it was an occasion to rejoice.

"Both of us got a good deal. I think both of us are quite happy and it benefits both sides.

In a joint statement issued after the leaders' retreat, they announced that the KTMB station would be relocated to Woodlands by July 1, 2011. Malaysia's customs, immigration and quarantine facilities will also be located there.

A company known as M-S Pte Ltd would be set up by Dec 31, with Khazanah Nasional Berhad holding a 60% stake and Singapore's Temasek Holdings Limited holding 40% to develop six parcels of land totalling 271ha.

Three of the parcels are in Tanjung Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands.

The other three are in Bukit Timah.

The developed KTMB land could in turn be swapped, on the basis of equivalent value for land in Marina South and Ophir Rochor in Singapore.

The leaders also said a rapid transit system (RTS) between Tanjung Puteri in Johor Baru and Singapore would be jointly developed and integrated with public transport services in Johor Baru and Singapore.

The RTS would be operational by 2018.

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