Mutual interest in boosting development in Johor

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 03 Jun 2020

Royal insight: Sultan Ibrahim granted an audience to Dr Wee to discuss development in the state. — Pic from Dr Wee’s Facebook page

JOHOR BARU: The development of public transportation infrastructure, status of the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) as well as progress on the state’s maritime sector were topics of discussions raised when Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar granted an audience to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

In a statement posted on Sultan Ibrahim’s Facebook page, it stated that the meeting between His Majesty and Dr Wee, who is MCA president and Ayer Hitam MP, was held at Istana Pasir Pelangi here yesterday.

It also stated that His Majesty had always focused on progress and development in the state especially as it was for the rakyat’s interest.

Dr Wee, in a Facebook posting, said many issues were discussed with Sultan Ibrahim during the 90-minute audience.

“This included public transportation infrastructure development, latest development status on the RTS as well as development on the state’s maritime sector for the rakyat’s interest.

“The ministry and myself are committed to increase the quality of service towards providing an efficient, safe and effective transportation system that will strengthen multimodalism and enhance the country’s competitiveness, ” he added.

Early last month, Dr Wee announced that the bilateral discussions on the Johor Baru-RTS link project had been extended by three months to July 31 from the previous April 30 deadline.

He said many economic and social sectors had been adversely affected as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, including those in Malaysia and Singapore.

The RTS is a project linking Johor Baru and Singapore as a means to ease congestion at both the Causeway and the Second Link.

One of the major transportation projects happening in the state is the 192km electric double-tracking project between Gemas and Johor Baru, estimated to cost RM12.4bil. It is expected to be completed in October next year.

It will have 14 stations in the state – Tenang, Chamek, Senai, Segamat, Genuang, Labis, Bekok, Paloh, Kluang, Mengkibol, Renggam, Layang-Layang, Kulai and Kempas Baru.

On Monday, the state government voiced hope that the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project would be continued as it is a high-impact project that could lead to economic benefits for both countries.

Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the HSR would provide job opportunities not just for skilled workers but also for others.

Hasni said that the state government always supported high-impact projects that benefit the people and the state economy.

While a decision was only expected at the end of the year, he expected many meetings to fine-tune the technical and commercial aspect of the project.

On Sunday, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said both governments had agreed to extend the deferment of the HSR to Dec 31.

He said they also agreed to resume discussions on the HSR infrastructure project with proposed changes.

In September 2018, Malaysia and Singapore agreed to suspend the construction of the bilateral project until May 31 to find the best way forward for the project.

The Malaysian government has been reviewing the project with MyHSR Corp to identify cost-reduction options, such as reviewing and optimising the alignment, station locations and business model.

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