Malaysia and Singapore to sign Rapid Transit System agreement

SINGAPORE - Malaysia and Singa­pore will sign an agreement on the Rapid Transit System (RTS) rail track linking Johor Baru and Woodlands in Singapore which is expected to commence in 2024.

The signing of the agreement tomorrow will be witnessed by the two prime ministers - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Lee Hsien Loong - after their eighth annual retreat here.

The RTS is another notch in connectivity links between Malaysia and its southern neighbour which will also see the High Speed Rail (HSR) between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore starting in 2026.

The RTS, first announced after Najib and Lee's annual retreat in 2010, will integrate with public transport services in Johor Baru and Singapore. It was originally targeted to be operational by 2018.

The RTS will connect Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru and the planned Woodlands North MRT station, which is part of the upcoming Thomson-East Coast (TEL) Line.

Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore Datuk Zulkifli Adnan in a media briefing yesterday said while waiting for the rail link to start operations, there must be efforts to reduce the congestion at the Causeway.

"We have seven more years to go, so what are we doing to address the present congestion?

"Transport ministers of the two countries have been discussing the possible solutions, including increasing the Tebrau bus shuttle service from 26 trips to 31 each way and reviving ferry links," he said.

Najib, who is arriving today, will be accompanied by seven Cabinet ministers including Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Rahman Dahlan.

Zulkifli said a memorandum of understanding on educational co-operation will also be signed.

The Prime Minister will pay a courtesy call on President Halimah Yacob who was sworn in as the eighth president last year.

Lee and Najib will also launch the Marina One and Duo projects jointly developed by Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Temasek.

The two projects are part of a land swap deal for KTMB land in Singapore, with Marina One in the Marina Bay area and Duo in Ophir-Rochor Road boasting of office space, retail shops and luxury apartments.