SINGAPORE: The Malaysian government has received various proposals from private investors for the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link Project, according to Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
“Yes, we are in talks with some private investors. There are various proposals. We are still looking at those proposals,” he told reporters during a visit to the proposed RTS Woodlands North site here today.
He was accompanied by his Singapore counterpart Khaw Boon Wan.
Earlier, at a joint press conference, Loke said that the government was looking into getting the private sector to be involved in the project, which costs RM4 billion and would have to be borne by the Malaysian government.
Malaysia and Singapore today officially signed the supplemental agreement for the suspension of the project until Sept 30 this year.
Malaysia would reimburse Singapore about RM2 million by July 31, 2019, as abortive costs incurred as a result of the six-month suspension.
Commenting on his visit to the site, Loke said that it gave him a better understanding of the entire project.
“Of course it has to make sense to integrate both services from Johor Baru to Singapore. Once we reached here we have to integrate it or you have to connect it to the MRT system and that gives good connectivity.
“I have shared with Singapore Minister that equally important is the connectivity on Johor Baru side. As for Johor Baru, the train will end at Bukit Chagar and connectivity to the entire Johor Baru is important as well,” he said.
The 4-km RTS link was planned to connect Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru to the Woodlands North station on Singapore’s Thomson-East Coast MRT Line.
Loke noted that if the RTS project were to proceed, Bukit Chagar would become a transportation hub which will link the whole of Johor Bahru with the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), a project proposed by the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda).
Irda was reportedly prepared to roll out a comprehensive plan for the RM2.56 billion BRT, aimed at easing congestion and pollution and encouraging more people to use public transport in the city.
Loke said he would update Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the rest of the cabinet Ministers on the RTS in their next meeting.
During the suspension period, Malaysia will decide if it intends to proceed with the RTS Link project as originally planned or propose changes to the project scope and structure.
Malaysia which has asked for the suspension in April would have to pay more than S$66 million (RM200 million) should it choose to terminate the project. - Bernama