Anwar, Hsien Loong to meet tomorrow, marking another milestone in Malaysia-Singapore bilateral ties

JOHOR BAHRU – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (picture) is meeting his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong tomorrow, a meeting which can be described as another milestone in bilateral relationship as they armed their commitments in two mega projects.

Both leaders would have a busy schedule tomorrow as they attend two high level functions, of which both countries have vested interests in.

In the morning, they are scheduled to visit the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project here, where both leaders would get an update on the progress of the billion ringgit project.

The RTS Link project is a railway shuttle link of about four kilometres with two stations, one in Bukit Chagar, Johor Bahru and another in Woodlands North, Singapore.

MRT Corp has been tasked to develop the 2.7 kilometres Malaysian portion of the rail link and the requisite structures, while the operations were slated to be undertaken jointly by Prasarana Malaysia Bhd and its Singaporean counterpart SMRT Corp Ltd.

Once completed, the RTS Link would be the third land bridge to Singapore and could likely ease some of the “headache” of the “infamous” traffic legacy or congestion at the Johor Causeway.

Apart from RTS, Anwar and Lee would then proceed to another event to witness the signing of the memorandum of understanding on the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ) between Malaysia and Singapore.

The idea was first mooted by Malaysia’s Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli after a meeting with the Johor state government at Iskandar Puteri in May last year and both countries agreed to take a step further by setting up a special task force to study the establishment of the special economic zone two months after that (July).

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi welcomed this idea, saying the “success” of this economic zone can lead it to flourish like the Chinese city of Shenzhen, which has transformed from a small city of 300,000 people to a high-tech international metropolis of over 17 million people after four decades.

For 2022, it was reported that Johor secured RM70.6 billion worth of foreign investments in various sectors. Singapore was reported as the state’s second-largest foreign investor, contributing to around 70 per cent of Johor’s total foreign direct investment (FDI) in the manufacturing sector.

Thus, the creation of the new economic zone could further boost cross-border trade and business activities not only between Malaysia and Singapore but making it an attractive spot in the Asian region. – BERNAMA / pic TMR FILE