Joint Statement by Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Malaysia-Singapore Leaders' Retreat in Putrajaya on 13 December 2016

Published date13 December 2016
Publication titleASEAN Tribune

13 December 2016 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore) 1. Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met in Malaysia on 13 December 2016 for the 7th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders' Retreat. The Leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress made in bilateral relations since the Leaders' Retreat in Singapore on 5 May 2015, and reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral relations for the mutual benefit of both peoples amidst the current challenging global security and economic environment.

2. The Leaders warmly welcomed the signing of the Agreement on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR). This marks a historic moment in bilateral relations and reflects both countries' commitment to the marquee project, which will bring the two countries even closer together, improve connectivity, deepen people-to-people ties and catalyse further economic cooperation. The Agreement formalises the technical, safety and security requirements, commercial, financing, procurement and regulatory frameworks, as well as customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) arrangements for the HSR. It recalls and builds on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries on 19 July 2016. They looked forward to the appointment of a Joint Development Partner by early 2017, as well as the calling of the systems tenders from late 2017. A Bilateral Committee will also be established to oversee all aspects of the project, which affect the cross-border train services, and all other matters set out in the Agreement. The Leaders placed on record their appreciation to the Ministers and officials of both countries for their hard work since the project was first announced in February 2013. They looked forward to its expeditious implementation and the commencement of the direct Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR Express Service by 31 December 2026.

3. The Leaders welcomed the progress made on the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project under the Transportation Links Work Group and affirmed the key areas of agreement reached to date. When completed, the RTS Link will improve connectivity and reduce congestion at our border crossings. The RTS Link will connect Bukit Chagar, Johor Bahru in Malaysia and Woodlands North in Singapore where passengers can transfer to Singapore's upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line. The RTS Link will use the four core Thomson-East Coast Line systems to reap economies of scale, and...

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