Following Thursday’s visit, Singapore’s Ministry of Transport and Land Transport Authority (RTS) released a joint statement, highlighting that construction works at the RTS Link Woodlands North terminus site on the Singapore side were “on track”.
“Works have involved the use of high-capacity drilling machines, extended piling works and rock blasting techniques, to overcome challenges posed by the hard granite in the area,” the statement said.
It added that LTA has implemented “real-time instrumentation monitoring” and “rigorous surveys” to ensure that the vibrations generated during construction are within controlled limits, protect the structural safety of all surrounding infrastructure and minimise any inconvenience to the public.
“RTS Link Woodlands North station is part of the overall RTS Link development on the Singapore side, which will have a combined gross floor area approximately 10 times that of a typical MRT station,” the statement said.
The development encompasses the RTS Link Woodlands North station, which will be constructed at a maximum depth of 28 metres and connect commuters to the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) Woodlands North MRT station as well as a CIQ building, the statement added.
In March, Mr Iswaran said that 45 per cent of the work that needed to be done on the Singapore side had been completed. He also reiterated that the RTS was on track to be completed by end-2026.
The JB-Singapore RTS project was originally scheduled for completion in 2024, with the Malaysia and Singapore governments signing a bilateral agreement to build the link in 2018.
But the project was suspended a number of times after the Pakatan Harapan coalition government came to power in Malaysia in 2018.
The project officially resumed in July 2020, with a bilateral ceremony held on the Causeway to mark the occasion. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his then-Malaysian counterpart Muhyiddin Yassin were both in attendance.
The project is estimated to cost RM10 billion (S$3.25 billion), with Singapore bearing 61 per cent of the cost.
DISCUSSIONS ON POSSIBILITY OF REVIVING HSR
During the press conference on Thursday, the two transport ministers were also asked whether there has been progress in talks on reviving the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project.
Mr Loke said: “We did discuss the way forward. And on behalf of the Malaysian government, I made it very clear that we are keen to revive the project.”
Mr Loke reiterated that that model of implementation must be based on a private sector-led initiative. “So we are open to suggestions and proposals from the private sector. And likewise, I think that we have to continue to engage each other and to further discuss the way forward on this particular project,” he said.
Mr Loke added that there were some companies that have expressed interest to lead the project.
“However, we have to review the execution model, the costs model and other factors. The principle has always been that the Malaysian government is keen for the project to be revived, but it must be fully financed by the private sector.”
On his part, Mr Iswaran said that the two ministers had a good discussion and that HSR was one of the topics raised.
“I took the opportunity to underscore again Singapore’s readiness to study any proposal from Malaysia on how the HSR project can be restarted,” said Mr Iswaran.
“So we remain open and we are ready to work with the Government of Malaysia to study any new proposal,” he added.