KUALA LUMPUR: The Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) monitoring group says it is disappointed that the government is pushing back the deadline to decide on the project.
Its representative Dr Tee Ching Seng (pic) said the Pakatan Harapan government had already postponed the project several times since taking over, even before it recently asked for an extension to Oct 31.
The Malaysian government, he added, even had to fork out monetary compensation amounting to RM1.8mil when it suspended the project for six months to Sept 30.
He urged for the government to implement the project as soon as possible, given that the people had thrown their support for the initiative.
“The RTS monitoring group had previously submitted a memorandum to the Transport Ministry to urge the government to immediately restart the project.
“The recent announcement by Transport Minister only stated that the RTS project would be extended by one month to Oct 31, at no additional costs.
“However, no explanation was given for this extension.
“What are the people waiting for during this one month?” he said in a press conference in Wisma MCA near here on Wednesday (Oct 2).
Tee, who is also the MCA International Communication and Diplomacy bureau chief, also criticised Transport Minister Anthony Loke for the delays in the project.
“In the past 15 months, the Transport Minister has delivered positive messages to the people on the RTS project, hinting that there were ‘good news’, that the project is ‘not derailed’.
“So the rakyat was patiently waiting for the good news. The previous six-month extension was his request to Singapore, which is the deadline he set himself.
“He has delayed (the project) again and again, but the people cannot wait for a long time. The people’s patience is limited, ” he said.
Malaysia and Singapore recently agreed to extend the deadline to decide on the RTS project to Oct 31 this year, at no additional costs.
However, Singapore said while it was waiving the additional cost incurred during the one-month extension period, it reserved the right to claim these costs should Malaysia request for further extensions.
An earlier Supplemental Agreement was signed by Loke and Singapore’s Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan to suspend the RTS Link from April 1 to Sept 30 this year.
The RTS project, aimed at tackling congestion in the daily commute between Malaysia and Singapore, was originally slated for construction this year and was expected to be completed by December 2024.
It would cover over 4km of rail linking Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru to Woodlands in Singapore, with the capacity to ferry 10,000 passengers every hour. -The Star