AN MCA leader has applauded the recent opening of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone between Malaysia and Singapore.
MCA treasurer-general Tan Tuan Peng said the party believes that the project will produce business potentials aplenty and enable border trade between both nations, adding that new opportunities will emerge from the ensuing economic growth.
“The completion of mega-scale projects such as the RTS will not only promote trade and investment or boost economic growth, but will also increase human capital exchanges, simplify border procedures and create tourism and business activities,” the party’s Pasir Gudang division chairman remarked in a statement.
“This latest railway link will establish a mutually beneficial and sustainable economic partnership with Singapore by creating an environment in which both nations and her citizens benefit.”
On Jan 11, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong had witnessed the historic moment of the RTS Link project being symbolically “connected” between Malaysia and Singapore.
This involved the completion of the span which is the meeting point of the project’s marine viaduct between Johor Bahru and Singapore.
During the ceremony, Anwar and Lee also signed a plaque which symbolically shows the commitment of both countries to the construction of the project which had reached a progress level of 65% as of Dec 31, as scheduled.
Tan said following the historic completion of the connection span, residents of both countries, in particular those who commute daily between Malaysia’s most southern state and the island republic have another option of travel as the RTS enables convenient travel that saves more time and energy.
“Simultaneously, the RTS opens new opportunities for connection and cooperation between citizens in both countries and is expected to be a game-changer for regional integration and collaboration,” he added.
“Taking into account the widespread benefits which the RTS will reap, the government should explore new economic plans and launch large-scale projects to generate more employment prospects as these would drive business opportunities in various sectors such as manufacturing, infrastructure, and others besides improving people’s livelihoods.”
He further noted that on the heels of last year’s global economy slowdown, the imminent opening of the RTS will not only generate a huge number of employment opportunities and provide another passage conduit between both cities; its chain effect on stimulating the domestic economy is also a critical aspect that cannot be overlooked.
“Infrastructure for any new transportation usually drives the development of the related industries, such as, construction, operations, maintenance, cleaning services and others. Local residents will benefit from the boom of employment possibilities,” he stressed.
The RTS Link project is a commuter train network about four kilometres long with two stations, one each at Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru and at Woodlands North, Singapore.
With a capacity of up to 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction and a journey time of about five minutes between the two stations, the RTS line, scheduled for completion in Dec 2026, will provide an easy and comfortable journey between Singapore and Johor Bahru. – Jan 16, 2024
Main pic credit: Bernama