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RTS JB – SG? Further Delays are likely…

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For BOTH sides to prosper; Johor and Singapore, the rail transit system (RTS) is certainly a catalyst. My two trips to Singapore last year has shown that with better and faster connectivity, many things will fall into place much faster. To those who think that Singapore is not benefiting from this, I think you want the (Small Medium Enterprises) SMEs in Singapore to fail. A SME in Singapore today hiring only Singaporean workforce and having manufacturing plans and facilities ONLY in Singapore and selling only to Singaporeans are not likely to go too far into the future. The cost is just too high compared to the potential markets which these SMEs would like to export to. Some will now say that if not JB, there’s also Batam and Bintan in Indonesia! For this suggestion, I have no comments. 🙂 Please do ask some of the Singapore business owners yeah…

Singapore’s Acting Transport Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said that “further delays” are likely for the rapid transit system (RTS) link. Reported in StraitsTimes.com.sg here. He said that Malaysia has asked for another extension of the deadline for the RTS link to March 31. Due to this, RTS is no longer on track to commence by Dec 31 2024. Both governments have to jointly call an open tender to appoint the RTS Link Operating Company, OpCo. Under previous agreement, a JV company should have been formed on June 20 2018 and this company would then be the RTS link operator though a concession agreement with Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Malaysian government by September 2018. Dr Balakrishnan said he believes that the RTS link is “mutually beneficial”, and remains fully committed to it. Do refer to this article for reference in straitstimes.com.sg

Even MNCs thinking of locating their HQ inside Singapore would benefit from better connectivity because it could then lower their operation costs tremendously! There’s little need to spend SDG8,000 per month to house some of these top management people when these costs could be used to hire even more employees instead. Rental is a cost. Good employees meanwhile is a direct input into better productivity and innovation for example. However, right now there’s no such choice due to connectivity issue. Hopefully we will have a good update by the end of March 2019 from both sides. Perhaps a scene of ministers smiling, shaking hands and signing something would be a good start. Happy following.

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Article written and edited by Charles. News article summarised by Dina Batrisyia.

written on 26 March 2019

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