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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Rahman: JB-Singapore RTS details based on extensive studies

Minister in the PM’s Department says an immediate audience will be sought with the Sultan of Johor over issues the ruler had raised on the project.
PETALING JAYA: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan today said the details of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) project, including its alignment, were based on a series of extensive discussions and studies.
He said these covered technical and viability issues that were considered over several years, and which were eventually agreed on with the Singapore government.
“We acknowledge the issues and concerns raised by His Royal Highness the Sultan of Johor and will seek an immediate audience with His Royal Highness as soon as the palace has confirmed the date,” he said in a statement today.
“Malaysia and Singapore can look forward to better connectivity and accessibility once the proposed RTS project, which will connect Johor Bahru and Singapore, materialises in 2024.
“The RTS will take the pressure off the Causeway and save journey time as it will be a station-to-station connectivity with integrated customs and immigration check points,” he added.
In an interview published in the New Straits Times today, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar had spoken against the design of the proposed rail track linking Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru to Woodlands in Singapore.
He also questioned the involvement of federal government-owned Prasarana Malaysia Bhd in the project, asking why the Johor government was not involved.
“The project is entirely in Johor, so why should Prasarana be involved? Let the Johor government and Singapore have a joint venture and I can raise funds if need be,” he said.
The rail track in the RTS features a 30m-high bridge to be used by travellers crossing the Straits of Johor between the two sides.
Sultan Ibrahim called for a review of the whole design, saying the current curve-shaped one was both costly and impractical.
He also said he should be consulted for any project involving his state.
Prasarana and Singapore’s SMRT Corp are currently negotiating the joint venture.

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