The Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) is on track to meet Singapore’s July 31 deadline, minister of international trade and industry Azmin Ali said, according to The Star. There were 222 unresolved issues on the project, though “both countries have successfully solved 220 issues pertaining to the RTS project,” he said.

The remaining issues will be discussed when a technical committee meets on July 13, Azmin said, though he declined to elaborate what those two remaining issues are.

“I have spoken to the Transport Ministry and was given the assurance that both teams will be able to resolve the two remaining issues. This is important because we been given until the end of this month to conclude the whole process of negotiation pertaining to the RTS,” the minister of international trade and industry said.

Approximately 250,000 Malaysians who are working in Singapore stand to benefit if the Rapid Transit System is approved, and also be a ‘game changer’ for the state of Johor as it will enable the sectors of construction, supplies and more to become more involved and create various supply chains, Johor chief minister Datuk Hasni Mohammad told Berita Harian.

On June 22, Singapore daily The Straits Times quoted the city-state’s transport minister Khaw Boon Wan as saying that discussions with Malaysia about the construction of RTS Link were still ongoing, ahead of the final July 31 deadline. The rail project has been suspended since April 2019 to allow Malaysia to review the project and suggest changes for the consideration of Singapore.

This rail line would connect the Woodlands North station on Singapore’s Thomson-East Coast MRT line, to Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru. The two countries signed a bilateral agreement for the four-kilometre cross-border RTS Link in January 2018, and has been estimated to have a capacity of transporting 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction, and has been scheduled for completion in 2024.

Construction for the project was to have commenced last year, however the deadline was suspended for the fourth time due to factors such as the change of government in Malaysia, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.