Discussions with Malaysia about the construction of a cross-border Rapid Transit System Link are still ongoing ahead of a final deadline of 31 July 2020.
Discussions ongoing with Malaysia over RTS link Discussions with Malaysia about the construction of a cross-border Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link are still ongoing. PHOTO: ST FILE

Discussions with Malaysia about the construction of a cross-border Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link are still ongoing ahead of a final deadline of July 31, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on 22 June 2020.

The rail line project - which would connect Woodlands North station on Singapore's Thomson-East Coast MRT line to Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru - has been suspended since April last year to allow Malaysia to review the project and suggest changes for Singapore's consideration.

Mr. Khaw said: "Even as we battle COVID-19, in parallel, we press on with many other important tasks, including our bilateral discussions with Malaysia on both the High Speed Rail and the RTS Link projects. In fact, the RTS Link discussions - over teleconferencing - have been intensive, often running into the night, as the negotiators are mindful of the end-July deadline."

He added that he hopes a successful outcome can be achieved soon. Mr. Khaw had said in November last year that Singapore and Malaysia will need to sign three agreements by the end of April this year on the cross-border RTS Link, after three suspensions to the project. The project was first announced in 2010.

The deadline was pushed for a fourth time to end-July, because of factors such as the change of government in Malaysia and the impact of COVID-19. A bilateral agreement was signed in January 2018 to build the link by 31 December 2024. Construction on the project was to have started last year.