Malaysia's Najib takes swipe at Mahathir on Singapore trip

PM Lee and Najib launch Marina One and DUO joint development projects

"Both governments will jointly appoint an operating company (OpCo) to own, design, build, finance, operate, maintain and renew the RTS Link's operating assets such as trains, tracks, systems".

Construction on the RTS will reportedly begin next year, with service expected to start by the end of 2024.

Each country is to appoint an infrastructure company to fund, build, own, maintain and renew the civil works and stations within its territory. The rates will be set commercially by an operating company, and will not be regulated by the two governments, said LTA and Spad. Malaysia and Singapore will not be regulating the fares.

Moreover, they said that the RTS link stations will be well-integrated within the local public transport networks of both countries. During his term there were frequent sharp exchanges with neighboring Singapore and its first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew.

The OpCo concession agreement is due to be signed by the end of September. Subsequent operating concessions would be awarded by open tender.

"When completed, the RTS link will improve connectivity, deepen people-to-people ties and stimulate economic growth in Singapore and Johor".

To benefit from economies of scale, the RTS Link is to utilise the same rolling stock, signalling, communication and control technologies as the Thomson-East Coast Line which is now under construction in Singapore and will have its northern terminus at Woodlands North. "Heavy maintenance will be outsourced to the TEL Operator - SMRT Trains - at the TEL's Mandai Depot, though there will also be a light maintenance facility at Bukit Chagar", it added.

"This is the second cross-border rail agreement that the two countries have signed in two years, which is testament to the excellent cooperation between Malaysia and Singapore", Prime Ministers Najib Razak and Lee Hsien Loong said in a joint statement.

"I did raise with Prime Minister Hsien Loong the need for us to look at the current congestion at the (Woodlands) Causeway and today, (there are) reports that during peak hours, especially during the festivities and school holidays. people from both sides have to wait for as long as 3-4 hours to get clearance".

Najib, who arrived here Monday, for the eight annual retreat between Malaysian and Singapore leaders had earlier paid a courtesy call on President Halimah Yacob.

The bilateral agreement between the two richest Southeast Asian nations outlines the four-kilometer project's key points, including technical issues, safety requirements, commercial, financing, procurement and regulatory frameworks.

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