I think it’s clear that my personal preference is for Iskandar and Singapore to be better connected. Not just me, Singapore’s Prime Minister said the same thing especially for Singapore SMEs. Singapore’s future growth potential depends on local SMEs Besides Temasek is already a top investor in Iskandar today. Surely they are not doing it because of friendship alone. 🙂 Coming back to the ‘connection.’ Nope, definitely not through the 2 hour jams everyday using the Causeway. (This is the cause for the jam, anyway…) I was thinking about some form of rail connections, extending from Singapore into Iskandar. Specifically, the Rail Transit System. This would have to wait a bit. The Bus Rail Transit (BRT) is coming earlier. It’s slated for 2020.
According to an article in TheEdge Markets, the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) is in the final stages of discussions on the Johor-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS). IRDA CEO Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said, “We understand that it is important to not only connect within the region but also with Singapore. We are at the last stage of discussions to connect Singapore and, hopefully by 2020, the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system in Johor will be connected to Singapore’s transport system.” He added that the Rapid Transit System (RTS) would come by 2022. This means you can actually take the train in Singapore and stop in Iskandar. Two countries, linked. Cool, right.
Ismail also shared that current population of Johor is still too low for a public transport such as MRT or LRT. (I agree with this, for now. Let’s not even talk about the cost or who is going to pay for it.) Oh yeah, to anyone who thinks that the BRT or RTS is benefiting Iskandar only, let’s be a bit more objective. You can have all the thinking if you need but to produce what you designed, it’s is better done at a lower cost country, especially one right next door. Of course, one would then argue that there are so MANY other choices that Singaporean SMEs can rely on. My answer? Just look at the Causeway everyday and during holidays, we should already get the idea that JB is a by far more natural choice. Seriously, Hong Kong can’t continue growing without Shenzhen producing the goods lah. How to produce in a country where the cost of land is exorbitant and then trying to export to the world, fighting against lower cost producing countries? Happy waiting. Faster please, in my opinion.
written on 3 May 2017
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