The deadline to decide on the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link) has been reached, and while the government is set to make an announcement later today, it could either be a go or another extension – differing views have emerged from news reports on the matter.

According to The Star, the government has not made a decision on whether Malaysia will continue with the RTS, and is slated to ask for another six-month extension to review the project, which is expected to cost around RM4 billion.

Sources told the publication that the extension request was made known to Singapore on Monday. This was because the transport ministry was still unable to resolve certain issues on its side, prompting the need for more time to review certain aspects of the project.

The Malay Mail however reports that the government is set to announce that it will proceed with the RTS, and that prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is expected to make the announcement later today in Johor Baru.

During the tabling of Budget 2020, finance minister Lim Guan Eng had said that the federal government “intends to proceed” with the RTS, and earlier this month, Mahathir had confirmed during the launch of the National Transport Policy that Putrajaya will proceed with the project, but no timeline for its implementation was offered, so it looks to be a case of when, not if.

The RTS Link Project – aimed at addressing congestion in the daily commute between the two countries – was initially scheduled to begin construction this year and slated for completion by December 2024. The proposed 4km-long rail project will link Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru and Woodlands in Singapore, and will have the capacity to ferry 10,000 passengers per hour.

It is aimed at providing an alternative means of transportation for 80,000 to 100,000 commuters plying the causeway route daily. Under the original agreement, the one-way fare was set at RM15. Should Malaysia choose to terminate the project, it will have to pay compensation in abortive costs, and this was earlier reported to be RM200 million.