epa07518700 Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke (L) speaks during a press conference at the Seletar Airport in Singapore, 21 April 2019. Firefly Airlines inaugural flight marks the start of scheduled service from Seletar Airport in Singapore to Subang Airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. EPA/WALLACE WOON

SINGAPORE: Malaysia is committed to ensure that the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project will be continued, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

“We are working on the supplementary agreement for six months and looking at other options on how to reduce the cost,” he told a joint press conference with Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan after a welcome ceremony for Firefly’s inaugural landing at Seletar Airport, here, today.

The Malaysian government had earlier this month requested a six-month extension until September from Singapore to make a decision on the RTS Link project.

A bilateral agreement on the RTS Link was signed in January last year during the previous Barisan Nasional administration.

The project was initially scheduled for construction this year and was expected to be completed by December 2024.

It was aimed at addressing congestion in the daily commute between the two countries.

The RTS Link project will cover 4km of rail linking Bukit Chagar, Johor Baru and Woodlands, Singapore, with the capacity to ferry 10,000 passengers per hour.

Khaw said the bilateral agreement did not provide for a suspension unlike that of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail.

“However, in the spirit of bilateral relations we can always work out some amendments,” he said, adding that “the immediate first step is to settle, finalise and sign the supplementary agreement which can be done soon”.

Updating on a high-level committee set up to review the existing airspace arrangement in which Singapore air traffic controllers manage airspace over southern Johor, Khaw said: “They are in the process of talking (off).

“The first step is to settle the terms of reference. My advice to them, don’t spend too much time arguing over terms of reference... get the process going,” he said.

The committee is co-chaired by Malaysia’s secretary-general of transport and Singapore’s permanent secretary for transport.

“With a right good will... win win... we can always find common ground and some win-win solutions... these I’m very confident,” said Khaw.

The Malaysian government plans to retake control of the airspace over southern Johor. - Bernama

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