8 August 2017
Johor Sultan expresses serious reservations over Rapid Transit System Link design and proposed bridge
MERSING/ISKANDAR PUTERI – The Sultan of Johor has expressed serious reservations about the proposed curve-shaped design of the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link between Malaysia and Singapore, and a plan to build a bridge as high as 30m above water in the middle section.
Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar said while he welcomed the project, the curved design of the rail link between Woodlands in Singapore and Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru was impractical, unsustainable and potentially costly.
“Why do we have to have a curved design when we can have a more practical design that is straighter and closer to the Causeway?” he said in an exclusive interview with Malaysia’s New Straits Times (NST) Press Group.
“I am proposing that the design be aligned as such for practicality and it will cost less,” he said.
He also questioned the need for an elevated bridge, according to the report.
“Why do they need an elevated bridge with up to 30m air draft (clearance height from water to a vessel’s height) unless there are plans to remove the Causeway?” he said.
“The parties also have to consult me. Whatever (new plan) is presented to me, it will have to be logical, economical and sustainable for the benefit of not only Johoreans but all Malaysians and Singaporeans,” he was quoted as saying.
He proposed a design that he said could be the same height as the Causeway or slightly elevated.
Sultan Ibrahim also questioned the need for Malaysia and Singapore to have separate contractors to build portions of the rail link in their respective countries. He suggested that the project be undertaken by a single contractor through a joint venture between the two sides.
He said he would raise his concerns over the design in a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong next month, and would convey the points from the discussion to the Malaysian government and the media.
Rahman: JB-Singapore RTS details based on extensive studies
ETALING JAYA: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan today said the details of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) project, including its alignment, were based on a series of extensive discussions and studies.
He said these covered technical and viability issues that were considered over several years, and which were eventually agreed on with the Singapore government.
“We acknowledge the issues and concerns raised by His Royal Highness the Sultan of Johor and will seek an immediate audience with His Royal Highness as soon as the palace has confirmed the date,” he said in a statement today.
“Malaysia and Singapore can look forward to better connectivity and accessibility once the proposed RTS project, which will connect Johor Bahru and Singapore, materialises in 2024.
“The RTS will take the pressure off the Causeway and save journey time as it will be a station-to-station connectivity with integrated customs and immigration check points,” he added.
Shahrir agrees with Johor sultan, dislikes ‘crooked bridge’ design too
Johor Bahru MP Shahrir Abdul Samad said he concurs with Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar who disagreed with the design of the Rapid Transit System (RTS) bridge that would connect Malaysia to Singapore.
He said he also understands the sultan’s call for the bridge not to be built in a ‘crooked’ manner.
“It turns out that not many like the crooked design, not just me. When I read (the sultan’s statement), I smiled and nodded in understanding.
“When we talk about bridges, it is originally for crossing from one place to other in a direct manner, not in a bent or crooked way,” he said.