Singapore is 'not delaying progress on Rapid Transit System link with Malaysia'

A map of the planned Thomson Line published in August. The MRT line will allow travellers to take the proposed Rapid Transit System link between Singapore and Johor Baru. -- GRAPHIC: BUSINESS TIMES  
A map of the planned Thomson Line published in August. The MRT line will allow travellers to take the proposed Rapid Transit System link between Singapore and Johor Baru. -- GRAPHIC: BUSINESS TIMES  

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Transport has refuted Malaysian news reports that Singapore is delaying progress on the Rapid Transit System (RTS) connecting Johor Baru and Woodlands.

"The suggestion that Singapore has been delaying progress on the RTS link is incorrect," a ministry spokesman said on Sunday.

"Singapore informed Malaysia in June 2011 that the RTS terminus in Singapore would be located at Woodlands North near Republic Polytechnic. However, to date, Singapore has not received official confirmation of the location of Malaysia's RTS terminus in Johor Baru. Only upon confirmation of the location of the terminus can both countries proceed to finalise the alignment of the crossing between Johor Baru and Singapore."

Malaysian media reports have quoted Johor State Executive Committee Member for Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Datuk Hasni Mohammad as saying that Singapore is holding back on deciding the alignment for the RTS link.

"We look forward to official confirmation from the Malaysian government on the location of the RTS terminus in Johor Baru. Singapore remains committed to working closely with Malaysia on the RTS link, which will provide a boost to cross-border connectivity," the ministry spokesman said.

The RTS,  which will connect Johor Baru to the Thomson-East Coast MRT line, is set for completion by 2018. Earlier reports said the Johor terminal could be in Bukit Chagar, Tanjung Puteri or JB Sentral.

In Singapore, the terminal is set to be near Republic Polytechnic in Woodlands and was to be operational by 2019.

The 31-station Thomson-East Coast Line will serve estates in the northern, central and eastern parts of Singapore, and run from Woodlands to Sungei Bedok.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said that the RTS will connect Johor Baru to the Thomson MRT line, instead of the Thomson-East Coast MRT line. The planned 22-station Thomson Line was extended in August last year and is now known as the Thomson-East Coast line. It is projected to have 31 stations.