Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to defer the construction of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) link yet again, adding to the previous six-month extension requested by Putrajaya in April.
The new deadline has been set for Oct 31, and will incur no additional cost.
The initial six-month extension was for Malaysia to review the RM4 billion (S$1.3 billion) project to build a 4km cross-border RTS link from Woodlands North in Singapore to Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru. The service has a capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour each way.
The project was expected to be completed by December 2024, but is now behind schedule due to Malaysia repeatedly delaying confirmation of its joint venture partner.
In a joint statement earlier in May, both countries “recognised the urgent need to alleviate traffic congestion at the Johor Bahru-Singapore Causeway which facilitates about 300,000 crossings daily”.
Johor Bahru MP Akmal Nasir said that the “RTS is something that both Malaysia and Singapore really need”, but the Malaysian government “still needs to study the project thoroughly due to its financial impact”, as quoted by The Straits Times.
Additionally, Malaysia would have to pay more than S$66 million (RM200 million) should it decide to terminate the project.
Several netizens have expressed their unhappiness with the situation online, disapproving of the repeated delays.
Talk so long so mafan just forget it la.
— Park Hyuk Kwon (박혁권) (@emotionalmusics) September 29, 2019
The repeated delays of the RTS link impacts thousands of people across both countries, especially Malaysians who commute to Singapore daily to work.
According to The Straits Times, travellers currently take between 40 minutes and two hours to pass the 1.06km-long Causeway during peak hours.
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