24 May, 2010

Malaysia agrees to give up railway land in Singapore !

The Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Singapore have agreed that the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB station) currently in operation at Tanjong Pagar will be relocated to the Woodlands train checkpoint by 1 July 2011.

Announcing this in a joint statement on Monday in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak also agreed that Malaysia would co-locate its railway and Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) to the Woodlands train checkpoint.

Singapore would facilitate the relocation to the Woodlands train checkpoint and ensure bus service connectivity from the KTMB station at Woodlands to a nearby MRT station for the convenience of train passengers.

Both countries also announced that a company known as MS Pte Ltd will be established as soon as practicable but not later than 31 December this year.

Malaysia would hold a 60 per cent stake in this company under Khazanah Nasional Berhard while Singapore will have a 40 per cent share to be held by Temasek Holdings.

The three parcels of land in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands, and another three pieces of land in Bukit Timah will be vested by M-S Pte Ltd for joint development which in turn could be swapped on the basis of equivalent value for pieces of land in Marina South and/or Ophir-Rochor.

The joint statement says both sides will conduct their respective valuations.

Prime Minister Lee will visit Kuala Lumpur within a month with a proposal for the land swap for Malaysia.

The transfer of the land parcel to MS Pte Ltd will take effect at the time when KTMB vacates the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.

Meanwhile, the Prime Ministers of both countries have proposed the joint development of a rapid transit link between Tanjung Puteri, Johor Bahru and Singapore to enhance connectivity between the two countries.

The proposed rapid transit system link will be operational by 2018.

Thereafter, Malaysia may consider relocating the KTM Station from Woodlands to Johor.

A joint implementation team will further discuss the implementation details.

According to the statement, the team will complete its works by the end of the year.

It added that the outcome reached by the joint implementation team on the matters discussed should be reflected in a written instrument to be signed by both countries upon approval from their respective governments.

Both leaders agreed that the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station Passenger Terminal building would be conserved given its historical significance and would be a centerpiece for the new proposed development on the site.

In addition, the old Bukit Timah Railway Station building at Blackmore Drive can also be conserved.

Both leaders also discussed bilateral co-operation in the joint iconic project in Iskandar Malaysia.

They agreed that Khazanah Nasional and Temasek Holdings will form a 50-50 joint venture company to undertake the development of the iconic wellness township project in Iskandar Malaysia.

The project will involve the participation of private sectors from both countries.

Both leaders said they look forward to the launching of the project within a year.

Prime Minister Lee also informed his Malaysian counterpart that upon the expiry of the 1961 Water Agreement, Singapore would hand over the waterworks under the agreement to the Johor water authorities free of charge and in good working order.

Both leaders expressed satisfaction that the arrangements relating to the POA would facilitate resolution of the issue which has been outstanding for more than 19 years.

They also reaffirmed their commitment towards further strengthening bilateral relations and mutual collaboration in various areas.

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