Malaysia-Singapore High Speed Rail agreement signed; Johor-Thomson MRT links moving forward
13 December 2016 - At the Joint Press Conference between PM Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian PM Najib Razak at the 7th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat, PM Lee speaks:
"High Speed Rail
First of all, on the High Speed Rail, very glad to witness the signing of the formal agreement today. We had an MOU back in July. Since then, our officials have worked hard to pin down the details and the legal text, and we are ready to sign, and we signed it today. It is a marquee project, a significant milestone in our relationship. As Prime Minister Najib says, it will transform the way we interact, socialise, do business, and for the better, and give both sides a big stake in keeping the relationship stable and warm.
I would like to thank particularly the Ministers, Khaw Boon Wan on my side, Dato Rahman Dahlan on the Malaysian side, and before that his predecessor, who was Dato Wahid (Abdul Wahid bin Omar) for the very hard work in the negotiations and for lending the agreement. Now we have to implement the agreement.
It is a long way to go yet because it is a complex project and we are making long-term commitments. But there is a strong political will on both sides to ensure the project is done right and is a success. I look forward to taking my first train ride up to Putrajaya in ten years’ time.
Indicative alignment and station locations
Rapid Transit System Link
I am also happy that we have made important decisions on the RTS Link, which will further enhance our connectivity and benefit thousands of people who commute between Singapore and Johor daily. It will connect Johor Bahru to Singapore, to our Thomson-East Coast MRT Line, and use same systems as the Thomson-East Coast MRT Line, so that visitors can clear immigration in Johor Bahru, get on to the RTS, come to Singapore, and transfer to the MRT seamlessly, and vice versa.
We have settled on a high bridge crossing. This was a major point, how are we going to cross the Straits of Johor, high bridge, low bridge, tunnel, and after extensive discussions we have agreed that the high bridge is the best solution. That clears the way for us to work towards a bilateral agreement, which I hope we can sign by the end of next year."
A Bilateral Committee, led by senior government officials from both countries, will have oversight over all matters that may affect the International Operator’s services, and all other matters detailed in the Bilateral Agreement.
Malaysia and Singapore will jointly award the tender for a Joint Development Partner (JDP) in early 2017, to provide advice on operational, technical and procurement matters.
And the Express Service is targeted to commence by 31 December 2026.
Credits: PMO, LTA