Joint Singapore-Malaysia decisions on HSR and RTS link to come soon: Khaw Boon Wan

Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan posted on Facebook on Thursday that he met Malaysia's Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali in Singapore. While Kuala Lumpur has confirmed that the delayed RTS will go ahead, it has requested a deferment of the HSR as it tackles its RM1 trillion (S$331 billion) national debt. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ KHAW BOON WAN

SINGAPORE - Malaysia and Singapore are likely to come to decisions on both the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) and the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) soon, said Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan on Thursday (Aug 30).

In a Facebook post, he said he had met with Malaysia's Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali on Thursday (Aug 30), and the two were "brainstorming ideas on how to further our bilateral relationship".

"We should be able to announce our joint decisions on RTS and HSR soon," added Mr Khaw, who is also Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure.

"We are inching closer to a win-win deal on HSR, thanks to the hardwork of officials from both sides," said Mr Azmin.

The pair had also met last week in Putrajaya to discuss the HSR project, which Mr Azmin described as a thorough and detailed discussion.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad initially announced in May that the newly elected Pakatan Harapan government wanted to scrap the 350km rail line between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, originally slated for completion in 2026.

Malaysia later said it would negotiate with Singapore and seek a deferment on the project.

The 4km RTS, between Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru and Woodlands North, was slated to open by the end of 2024 .

However, a June 30 deadline for Singapore's SMRT and Malaysia's national rail operator Prasarana Malaysia to incorporate a joint venture company to operate the line was missed.

Mr Azmin also met Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Thursday, and in a Facebook post said the two had a "productive and frank exchange of views on a broad range of matters including geopolitical concerns".

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