SEZ with Singapore could be enhanced by a proposed T-shaped integrated transport network, causing excitement in Johor

Standing in a hot and stuffy bus terminal in the heart of Johor Bahru for forty minutes made diploma student Malani Jairaman feel hopeless. The 22-year-old, whose transportation costs only amount to RM5 (US$1.05) per day, resides in the suburban town of Skudai. She can only get to and from school by the public bus service myBas, which is run by local operator Syarikat Handal Indah. But she has seen that bus services have gotten worse over the past two years. It now takes nearly two hours to travel 19 km one way instead of just one.

 

There isn’t anything else we can do. We would choose alternatives like Kuala Lumpur’s light rail transportation system, Ms. Malani said, referring to the system that links the nation’s capital with the surrounding areas of Malaysia. Connectivity and convenience of travel throughout Southern Johor, the rest of the country, and to Singapore might determine whether the state realizes its economic potential as plans for a proposed Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (SEZ) pick up speed.On January 11, Malaysia’s Minister of Economy Mohd Rafizi Ramli and Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the SEZ; by year’s end, a formal agreement is anticipated to be signed.

 

Mr. Anwar and the Johor State Development Committee met in Putrajaya on February 28. The projects totaling RM4.7 billion that the prime minister approved for Johor include those that will enhance connectivity with the SEZ. The projects encompass increased accessibility as well as transportation goals including modernizing immigration checks and building new highways. The state government’s plan to integrate the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, which is being considered for revival, with the state’s own LRT system and the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link, which is scheduled to begin operations by late 2026, is essential to the SEZ’s success.

 

 

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