In June 19, an interview made between The Edge Malaysia and Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission’s (SPAD) CEO, Mohd Nur Ismal Mohd Kamal, that the commission preferred to terminate the upcoming high-speed rail (HSR) terminus in Johor Baharu’s CIQ (Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine) complex had been claimed misquoted by the commission. In addition, the CEO was “regrettably misquoted” said SPAD, and had honourably stated that the commission preferred to terminate the line at the CBD area instead.
The issue of HSR arise, when the CEO stated to the Malaysian business paper that they preferred to terminate the line at the existing CIQ complex while Singapore wants to terminate the line in Jurong East. Furthermore, he added that Singapore want to use the HSR to enhance the development made in Jurong East while SPAD want to develop Bandar Malaysia.
Termination of current CIQ on the perspective of SPAD would let the commission to have complete control over the development within Johor Baharu’s borders and would made the development to appear closer to Orchard Road than Singapore’s Jurong East, but they also need to weigh the economic and commercial considerations of Singapore before they could reached an agreement said Mr Nur Ismal. Early in May, both leaders from Singapore and Malaysia had reached an agreement that HSR terminus will be located at Jurong East. Thus, the statement by the CEO of SPAD had surprised the Ministry of Transport (MOT) in Singapore as on their point of view, the objective of commercial premise between both cities would not be achieved, if the HSR in Johor Baharu is terminated.
Discussion on the Operating Models of High-Speed Rail Terminus
Currently, both countries are in discussion said MOT on choosing the right HSR’s commercial and operating models. The proposal of the domestic transit HSR services made by MOT for both cities to be operated separately from the express non-stop services is still under consideration as Malaysia had planned to locate at least six stop-stations in Malaysia that would cost at least 10 per cent of the entire HSR projects. This in returns would give autonomy as well domestic needs and benefits to Malaysia said by the transport ministry.
Therefore Singapore is not interested in the additional stations as such benefit would only be gained by Malaysia said Mohd Nur Ismal. He also added that both countries should be willing to understand the current economic and commercial considerations from both parties and work out on a plan where both countries can gain benefit from the development of the HSR.
There Is No Agreement on High Bridge across Singapore between Johor Baharu and MOT
Malaysia had not yet confirmed the terminus location of Johor Baharu–Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTSL) said MOT while Singapore’s terminus named Thomson-East Coast MRT line will be located at Woodlands North station. The type and alignment of the Rapid Transit System Link can only be determined when both terminus locations had been confirmed. MOT also added that they are not yet receiving official confirmation of Malaysia’s RTSL in Johor Baharu and there is no agreement whether the crossing will be a high bridge.