Source: Khaw Boon Wan/Facebook

Singapore and Malaysia to suspend RTS link project until end of September as Malaysia revises project scope and costs

Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to suspend the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) link project until the end of Sep this year upon Malaysia’s request to revise the specifics of the infrastructure project, particularly in relation to costs.

TODAY reported Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan as saying at a joint press conference on Tue (21 May) that the Republic will consider any proposed changes made by Malaysia, should the latter decide to make any amendments to the scope of the link project.

“We hope that the RTS link project will resume at the end of the suspension period — either in its current form as prescribed in the RTS Bilateral Agreement or incorporating any project scope changes that both sides agree on during the suspension period,” said Khaw, adding that should Malaysia decide not to carry on with the project after the suspension, it will be considered terminated, and will subsequently have to reimburse Singapore as a result.

Khaw, alongside his counterpart Anthony Loke, indicated that Malaysia will bear abortive costs of more than S$600,000 owed to Singapore.

This is because the operations of the Land Transport Authority’s contractors and bidders involved in the RTS link project, along with SMRT, which is Singapore’s joint venture partner for the project, will be affected by the suspension.

Malaysia stands to lose up to S$66mil should the project be terminated, he added.

The joint press conference was held following the signing of a supplementary agreement to formalise the suspension of the RTS link project, TODAY reported.

Previously, Malaysia had reportedly asked for a six-month extension of the project at the end of Mar this year for similar reasons.

The Star Online reported Loke as saying at a joint press conference with Khaw at Seletar Airport last month that Malaysia is “committed to ensure the project can be continued” despite the extension.

The completion of the RTS link project, the area of which will span across Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru to Woodlands North station on Singapore’s Thomson-East Coast MRT Line, was initially slated to be completed by 31 Dec 2024.