30 July 2020
Malaysia and Singapore on Thursday signed a fresh agreement to proceed with the stalled construction of a metro link between the two neighbours seen as crucial to easing traffic congestion at one of the world’s busiest border crossings. The pact was marked with a ceremony attended by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Muhyiddin Yassin at the causeway between the countries – the first face-to-face meeting between the leaders since the start of the coronavirus pandemic
Resumption of the US$880 million project comes as the countries’ bilateral ties have stabilised with Muhyiddin at the helm in Malaysia, following the March ousting of his predecessor Mahathir Mohamad. Under the amended agreement, the rail link’s depot will now be situated in Malaysia rather than Singapore as agreed earlier. Putrajaya has also changed the company that will fund, build, own and maintain civil infrastructure for the project within its borders. The link is expected to begin operations by the end of 2026 and will connect with Singapore’s extensive Mass Rapid Transit network.
Nawaljeet Singh, a Malaysia-focused Senior Analyst at the RSIS in Singapore, said the in-person meeting between the two leaders sent a strong signal to businesses and citizens of both countries that the governments were focused on strengthening bilateral ties “despite the historic recent developments in both countries on the political, economic and public health fronts”.
IDSS / Print
Last updated on 03/08/2020