July 22, 2022
SINGAPORE – Transport Minister S. Iswaran hosted Johor’s ruler, Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar, at the Woodlands North terminus site, the Singapore station for the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link, on Thursday morning (July 21).
Sultan Ibrahim was then hosted to lunch by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam. In the afternoon, the Sultan visited Sembawang Air Base, where he was hosted by Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen.
At the Woodlands North site, Sultan Ibrahim witnessed rock removal using a controlled blasting method. He was also briefed on bore piling marine works which will set the foundation for the ongoing construction of the RTS Link viaduct.
During the visit, Mr Iswaran presented the Sultan with a memento depicting the architectural features of the viaduct.
“(It) symbolises the friendship between both sides, and which His Majesty had a hand in designing,” said Mr Iswaran. “When opened for service in end-2026, the RTS Link will improve connectivity between Singapore and Johor, and further strengthen our ties.”
Sultan Ibrahim, who is on a three-day official visit to Singapore, was accompanied by the Menteri Besar of Johor, Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, and other state officials.
The RTS Link is a 4km rail shuttle service between the Singapore terminus at Woodlands North station and the Malaysia terminus at Bukit Chagar station in Johor Bahru.
The Land Transport Authority said previously that construction on the Singapore side would involve high-capacity drilling machines, extended piling works and rock demolition during excavation works, given the site’s granite condition.
When the link is up and running, up to 10,000 passengers an hour will be able to travel in each direction, with a journey time of about five minutes, which will ease congestion on the Causeway.
Pre-pandemic, about 300,000 travellers cross the Causeway every day. The current KTM train service between JB Sentral and Woodlands stations can carry about 9,900 passengers a day, though average use is 7,000 passengers a day.
With the upcoming link, passengers need to clear immigration only once – at their point of departure.
The two stations will be connected by a viaduct over the Strait of Johor at a height of 25m and by underground tunnels leading to the Woodlands North station on the Singapore side.
Woodlands North station is already being built, and will have three storeys above ground and two basements levels, as well as an underground B3 linkway.
This will connect commuters to Woodlands North MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line.
At the lunch hosted by SM Tharman, Sultan Ibrahim was joined by Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu and Minister for National Development Desmond Lee.
Mr Lee said he is honoured to be minister-in-attendance during the Sultan’s visit. He added in a Facebook post that he would meet Mr Onn Hafiz on Thursday evening to discuss Johor-Singapore collaboration.
At his visit to Sembawang Air Base, Sultan Ibrahim was briefed about the workings of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).
He also viewed a static display of the CH-47F Heavy Lift Helicopter, and took a familiarisation ride on board the helicopter.
Sultan Ibrahim was joined at the air base by Johor Crown Prince, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, Mr Onn Hafiz, Johor state secretary Azmi Rohani, and other senior Johor officials.
They were accompanied by Mr Lee and the RSAF’s Chief of Staff (Air Staff), Brigadier-General Lau Boon Ping.
“His Majesty’s visit to the Singapore Armed Forces underscores the warm and longstanding bilateral relations between Singapore and Malaysia,” said the Ministry of Defence.
On Wednesday, Sultan Ibrahim was awarded an honorary degree by the National University of Singapore. His visit ends on Friday (July 22).