Any shareholder change won’t affect RTS launch date, says Wee

KUALA LUMPUR: The commitment to ensure the RTS Link between Johor Baru and Singapore will commence passenger services by 2027 remains, even if there is any change in shareholding structure for the companies behind it, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

He said the government was focused on completing the bilateral project with Singapore on time to ensure the people were served.

The Edge reported on May 28 that businessman Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo intends to take over Adil Permata Sdn Bhd, the main contractor for the Malaysian portion that connects the Bukit Chagar immigration complex with Singapore’s Woodlands North MRT station.

Lim is the group executive chairman of Ekovest, among his many other interests.

On May 30, Ekovest made a Bursa Malaysia announcement in which it confirmed that “the company is currently in ongoing discussions with the relevant parties to explore a potential takeover of the RTS Link project”.

It said negotiations were “ongoing and an announcement will be formalised upon finalisation of the agreed terms and conditions”.

Asked whether the government was aware of the impending takeover of Adil Permata, Dr Wee said the most important thing at the moment was finishing the project on time.

“All packages of the project given to Adil Permata must be completed by Dec 31, 2026, so that the service can start on Jan 1, 2027,” he said, adding that the civil structure progress was at 17% three weeks ago.

“In term of the progress for the operation company (OpCo), a joint-venture company between Malaysia and Singapore, work is at the 27% mark two weeks ago,” he told a press conference here yesterday after launching the 13th biennial International Harbour Masters’ Association Congress.

The OpCo for RTS was formed in 2020 as a joint venture between Prasarana Malaysia Bhd and Singapore’s SMRT Corporation Ltd.

“We are racing against time as we are still recovering from the pandemic.

“Both countries (Malaysia and Singapore) held frequent meetings to solve any issues arising,” Dr Wee said, adding that there would be no further delays to the project.

With a capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour each way, the RTS will provide a convenient and comfortable option between Johor Baru and Singapore, with a one-way journey taking only five minutes.

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