Malaysia to Singapore RTS ground breaking ceremony – what happened?

The Rapid Transit System (RTS) that will link Malaysia and Singapore has held a virtual ground breaking ceremony for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project. The event happened yesterday (November 22nd) via an online video call. Representing Johor were the Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar, Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, and Chief Minister Hasni Mohammad. Malaysia’s Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong and other Malaysian officials also attending the online event.

The event specified that at least 40% of the funds spent by the Malaysian government will be given to Bumiputera contractors.

What are Bumiputera contractors? Bumiputera contractors are construction companies that are owned by people that are indigenous of Malaysia.

The briefing:

During the briefing, it was confirmed that:

  • Malaysia plans to spend RM3.7 billion (US$900m) on the project;
  • RM3.7 billion is 39% of the project’s total cost, with the other 61% incurred by Singapore;
  • Construction in Malaysia will cost RM2 billion (US$490m);
  • RM800 million (US$195 million) will be allocated to Bumiputera construction companies;
  • Civil works will be completed in December 2024;
  • Systems works will be completed in December 2026;
  • The line will be operational on 31st December 2026;
  • A design competition has been launched for the external façade design of the station, with an RM250k prize;
  • ICQ (Immigration, Customs, Quarantine) will be in a separate building to the station and will be spread over four floors of a mixed-use building;
  • Tenders for advanced works as well as the reference and design of the ICQ will be issued soon;
  • Other tenders will be issued later.

The video of the event posted yesterday was removed. So here’s a video from MRT Corp instead:

Not so Rapid?

The RTS Link has come under some criticism because the planned light rail transit (LRT) service may not be able to commute as many passengers as needed. The original plan was to use a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) but a reduction in costs led to a switch to LRT.

However, developers of the RTS Link say it will still be able to transit 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction. The RTS hopes to commute 50% of the Malaysia – Singapore causeway’s daily traffic.

JB-Singapore RTS Link: Analysts raise concerns about operating capacity, maintenance costs (Video by CNA, Nov 2, 2019)

Drop me a line at if you’d like to discuss this project in more detail.

Asia, Bridges, Construction, Malaysia, Rail, Singapore, Video