Coronavirus: Singapore-Malaysia land VTL

PM Lee, Ismail discuss S'pore-Johor RTS Link, reviving HSR project

Republic open to fresh proposals from Malaysia on high-speed rail link to KL

Construction of the cross-border Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link between Woodlands and Johor Baru is ongoing, and passenger service is still expected to begin by the end of 2026, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.

PM Lee and his Malaysian counterpart Ismail Sabri Yaakob also discussed the issue of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR), among other areas of collaboration between both countries, at the Istana yesterday.

Datuk Seri Ismail was on his first official visit to Singapore as prime minister.

After their meeting at the Istana, Mr Lee said at a press conference that Mr Ismail suggested reviving discussions on the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur HSR project, which had been terminated after the agreement was allowed to lapse on Dec 31 last year.

Both countries had agreed previously to terminate the HSR project and this has been amicably settled and closed, PM Lee said. "Nevertheless, Singapore is open to fresh proposals from Malaysia on the HSR project. The two ministries of transport will discuss the matter, and Singapore looks forward to receiving more details from Malaysia, so that we can study and consider the matter starting from a clean slate."

Yesterday, Transport Minister S. Iswaran and his counterpart Wee Ka Siong witnessed the RTS Link Grantor Agreement commemoration ceremony.

This comes after the Concession Agreement was concluded on July 30 last year when the RTS Link project was successfully resumed.

Singapore also continues to support the development of the Iskandar Malaysia economic development corridor in Johor, Mr Lee said, noting that the 14th Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia will be convening next month.

The two prime ministers had witnessed the launch of the land vaccinated travel lane (VTL) at the Woodlands Checkpoint in the morning.

Mr Ismail, who returned to Malaysia via a VTL flight to Kuala Lumpur last night, said he and Mr Lee also discussed the issue of cross-border movement by air between Singapore and destinations like Penang, Langkawi, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

Another topic of discussion was the situation in Myanmar, said Mr Ismail. "We share the same view that it is crucial for Myanmar to cooperate in the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus, and the necessity to preserve the credibility and integrity of Asean."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2021, with the headline PM Lee, Ismail discuss S'pore-Johor RTS Link, reviving HSR project. Subscribe