SINGAPORE: Malaysia agreed on Monday to move the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) station at Tanjong Pagar here to the Woodlands Train Checkpoint (WTCP) by July 1, 2011.
Malaysia will also co-locate its railway customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) facilities at the WTCP.
These were some of the major decisions reached by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong during the leaders' retreat at the Shangri-La Hotel here.
When they met, both leaders were looking at the matters arising from the Points of Agreement (PoA) on Malayan railway lands in Singapore which had long become the obstacles to their countries' good bilateral ties.
Najib and Lee agreed to move the issues forward and both countries decided to jointly develop the KTMB lands around Singapore to maximise its full potential. At their joint press conference after the retreat Monday, both leaders agreed that a Malaysia-Singapore joint company, known as M-S Pte Ltd, be established before Dec 31 this year to develop the lands vacated by KTMB.
The company will be set up by Malaysia's Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Singapore government's investment arm, Temasek Holdings Limited, with each holding 60% and 40% equity respectively.
KTMB lands in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands and three additional pieces of land in Bukit Timah, with a total area of 271 hectares, will be vested in the company for joint development.
The developed KTMB lands could in turn be swapped, on the basis of equivalent value for pieces of land in Marina South and Ophir Rochor here.
The leaders said both countries would conduct their respective valuations and Lee would visit Kuala Lumpur within a month with a proposal for the land swap for Malaysia's consideration.
They agreed that the transfer of the land parcels to M-S Pte Ltd would take effect when KTMB vacated the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
According to a joint statement on the meeting, a rapid transit system link between Tanjung Puteri in Johor Baharu and Singapore, aimed at enhancing connectivity between the two countries, will be jointly developed.
The rapid transit system link will be integrated with public transport services in Johor Baharu and Singapore.
For the convenience of commuters, the rapid transit system link will have a single co-located CIQ facility in Singapore with the exact location to be determined later.
It is targeted that the proposed rapid transit system link will be operational by 2018, and thereafter, Malaysia may consider relocating the KTMB Station from Woodlands to Johor.
Both leaders also agreed to task a joint implementation team, to be led by the Secretary-General of Malaysia's Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Permanent Secretary of Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry, to further discuss the implementation details.
The team will discuss, among other things, the establishment and the framework governing M-S Pte Ltd, the rapid transit system connectivity between Johor Baharu and Singapore, and the co-located CIQ in the Woodlands train checkpoint.
The joint implementation team will complete its work by end of this year (Dec 31).
The outcome reached by the joint implementation team on the matters discussed should be reflected in a written instrument to be signed by both countries upon approval from their respective governments.
Najib and Lee also agreed that the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station passenger terminal building be conserved, given its historical significance, and will be a centerpiece for the new proposed development on the site.
In addition, the old Bukit Timah Railway Station building at Blackmore Drive can also be conserved. - Bernama
Najib-Lee meet expected to resolve KTM land issue