SINGAPORE: Singapore is "optimistic" that discussions on the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project can be concluded by the deadline at the end of this month, said the Ministry of Transport (MOT) on Sunday (Jul 12).
In response to queries by CNA, MOT said that Malaysia and Singapore have been in "intensive discussions" on the Johor Bahru-Singapore RTS Link project.
"Like Malaysia, we are optimistic that the discussions on the outstanding matters can be concluded by the Jul 31 deadline," said an MOT spokesperson.
The ministry added that more details will be announced closer to the date.
READ: JB-Singapore RTS Link project suspended for another 3 months until Jul 31 amid COVID-19 outbreak
The RTS Link was meant to be completed in 2024, but work on the project has since been suspended.
The suspension has been extended three times at Malaysia's request, with the latest extension due to Singapore's COVID-19 "circuit breaker" measures and Malaysia's movement control order.
Johor's Chief Minister Hasni Mohammad told local media on Sunday that the project is expected to start work in November.
Both countries, he said, will sign the agreement on the project at the end of the month, the Star reported.
Malaysia's transport minister also said that it will wait for Singapore's new Cabinet to form, with the country's General Election having been completed over the weekend.
“If we are able to complete the negotiations next week, the time would have come for us to seal the agreement. We must do all this before the Jul 31 deadline,” said Dr Wee Ka Siong on Saturday.
In October last year, then Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said that Putrajaya will proceed with the RTS Link.
The RTS Link aims to connect Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru to Woodlands in Singapore, serving about 10,000 passengers per hour each way to help ease traffic congestion on the Causeway.