PETALING JAYA: The government should focus on the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) link project instead of building a third bridge linking both countries, said MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).
He said the RTS project had been agreed upon by both the Malaysia and Singapore governments, and it would be more than capable of alleviating the congestion currently plaguing the existing bridges.
“(The RTS) will benefit 288,000 daily commuters to and from Singapore. This fast, cheap and relatively most reliable mode of transportation should be continued according to schedule.
“Don’t subject our citizens and tourists to the ordeal of hours of traffic congestion to enter Malaysia from Singapore,” he added.
Dr Wee noted that having an RTS would also further boost the economic vitality of Malaysia, particularly in southern Johor.
In a Facebook posting yesterday, the Ayer Hitam MP questioned the need for a third link even before the RTS project was completed.
It was reported that the Johor government would be discussing about the third bridge between Johor and Singapore when it holds discussions with federal officials about easing traffic congestion between both countries.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian was quoted as saying that a long-term solution was needed to ease traffic flow between Johor and Singapore.
Dr Wee also pointed out a reply in the Dewan Rakyat by Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali to Senator Datuk Lim Pay Hen in September 2018, stating the government had plans to develop the RTS link project linking Bukit Chagar adjacent to Johor Baru Sentral and Woodlands in Singapore.
The reply noted the RTS project should start operations in 2025 and potentially benefit nearly 288,000 daily return commuters.
“This issue has caught the attention of Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who expressed his disappointment on the RTS project’s delay from its original schedule.
“In his written reply to (Singapore) Parliament, (Khaw) said that the RTS Link Bilateral Agreement signed between Singapore and Malaysia in January 2018 had established several matters, one of which stipulated that a joint-venture company involving SMRT and Prasarana should have been formed by June 30, 2018.
“That JVC was to be appointed as the operating company of the RTS Link through a concession agreement with the Land Transport Authority and Malaysian government by Sept 30, 2018. Obviously, these stipulations have not been realised as yet,” Dr Wee added.