RTS final negotiation to be held next week: Wee

JOHOR BARU: The final negotiation on the Rapid Transit System (RTS) project is expected to take place next week before the finalisation of the agreement between Malaysia and Singapore by end of this month.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ir Wee Ka Siong (pix) said it was hoped that the two issues raised in relation to the project could be resolved during the negotiation before the start of the process to check the agreement’s content just prior to signing.

At the same time, his ministry would await the formation of Singapore government’s new cabinet in order to realise the project, given that the republic had just held its general election yesterday, he said.

“If we are able to complete the negotiation next week, the time would have come for us to seal the agreement. We must do all this before the July 31 deadline,” the MCA president told reporters after chairing an MCA Johor meeting here today.

Wee was replying to a question on the latest development on RTS in view of the July 13 meeting to discuss the two issues by the project’s technical committee.

However, he declined to elaborate on the two issues based on the policy of resolving issues in a neighbourly spirit between the two countries.

“I am confident that with the Transport Ministry leading the negotiation together with other agencies, we can overcome (the issues) one by one,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wee, who is also the Ayer Hitam Member of Parliament, said his ministry was also in the midst of repairing and rehabilitating the railway track linking the Port of Pasir Gudang here to the Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Gelang Patah.

“I am quite disappointed about the fairly slow progress so we must take quick action, as the two ports handle high volumes of cargo containers.

“We need to optimise the use of the existing railway to resolve congestion problems,” he said when asked on his meeting with Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ir Hasni Mohammad yesterday. — Bernama