The delivery term of the Rapid System Transit or RTS between Johor Baru and Singapore was set for the 31st of December, 2024. Unfortunately, due to existent delays in the schedule, the RTS has all the chances to miss its delivery term and be completed later, somewhere in 2025. What caused the delay the officials are talking about? It appears that Malaysia failed to comply when it comes to several set deadlines. Thus, the entire project is delayed and, at the moment, the officials can’t see a way to bring everything on track.
The projects started with the purpose of making commuting between Bukit Chagar, in Johor Baru, and Woodlands, in Singapore, much easier. The rail is supposed to have a length of 4 kilometers and it is seen as a very important link between Singapore and Johor. But, when the Parliament asked the Transport Ministry how the project is evolving, Khaw Boon, the Transport Minister, answered that progress is not being made as they’re supposed to, since two deadlines, one in June and another in September 2018, have been missed.
According to the details released by Mr. Khaw, it appears that Malaysia was looking to replace the joint-venture partner, but did not make any announcements in this direction for several months in a row. The term for releasing the confirmation concerning the new joint-venture partner was delayed from September to December until Malaysia was summoned to make the announcement until the 28th of February, this year, the latest. This means that the company, which is supposed to be Malaysia’s new partner, has not yet been integrated into the plan so far, let alone sign the required concession.
Malaysia also suspended the bilateral discussions when it comes to appointing the new OpCo, waiting for a confirmation from its partner. But, as Mr. Khaw mentioned, the bilateral agreements state that if the OpCo is not appointed and integrated into the project according to the set deadlines then both of the countries involved in the agreement will organize a transparent and fair tender for appointing the OpCo. Only the government can postpone the original deadlines and delay this process.
Unfortunately, even if Singapore provided Malaysia the draft documents for the tender since November last year, the country failed to offer a response so far. This cannot be delayed anymore, as the tender in the matter must be closed on the 31st of March, 2019. Thus, the appointed OpCo can proceed in acquiring the Thomson-East Coast Line core systems needed for the new RTS line. The process must be completed as soon as possible, as the options for procuring the core systems will soon expire.
Concerning Singapore’s part of the deal, the country is depositing all the efforts necessary to stay on track. The team already consists in 70 individuals, engineers and specialists from various domains alike, who we all join their efforts to make the project happen. Also, Singapore already appointed tenders for determining who will build the station at Woodlands North and the infrastructure for the RTS link.
For more information of the RTS between Singapore and Johor Bahru, refer to the links below,
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