SINGAPORE (ANN): Singapore and Malaysia will defer construction of a cross-border MRT link up till Sept 30 this year.
As part of the deal, Malaysia will also reimburse Singapore for the costs incurred as a result of the six-month suspension of the planned Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link.
Singapore's Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and his counterpart Anthony Loke met on Tuesday (May 21) at the PSA Building, where Singapore's Transport Ministry is located.
They will sign an agreement to formalise the six-month suspension.
Speaking at a joint press conference, Khaw said Singapore hopes for the RTS project to resume after the suspension, either in the current form as prescribed in last year's bilateral agreement, or incorporating any changes to the project scope.
"If not, the RTS Link Project will be deemed to have been terminated by Malaysia, and Malaysia will reimburse Singapore for the costs we have incurred in fulfilling our RTS Link obligations till now," said Khaw.
Khaw said the decision to suspend the RTS Link Project will affect the Land Transport Authority's contractors and bidders involved in the development, as well as SMRT, which is Singapore's Joint Venture partner for the RTS Link operator.
Malaysia had earlier requested for a six-month suspension of the project from April 1, saying that it needed to review the costs, including how to bring them down further.
The 4km RTS link - which would connect Woodlands North station on Singapore's Thomson-East Coast MRT Line to Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru - was targeted to begin operations by Dec 31, 2024.
However, Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan has said in March that the opening deadline would not be met. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network