SINGAPORE: The proposed High Speed Rail (HSR) link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore is making good progress.
This was revealed in a joint statement after the 10th Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee Meeting for Iskandar Malaysia (JMCIM).
The meeting was held in Singapore, and was co-chaired by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan and Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Abdul Wahid Omar.
Also present were Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew and Johor’s chief minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
The JMCIM said discussions over how to improve connectivity and linkages between the two cities have begun.
The Rapid Transit System between Singapore and Johor Bahru is also on track.
Both countries have agreed to work towards a preferred and agreed option by the end of this year.
For now, people travelling between both countries can benefit from 20 cross-border bus services, up from the previous 16.
Both sides are currently reviewing new landing points to enhance the bus network.
More people have also applied for faster immigration clearance from Singapore into Malaysia last year, highlighting both countries’ progress in facilitating cross-border movement.
Some 127,000 new applications for the Malaysian Automated Clearance System were made last year, taking the total number of applications since 2009 to nearly 372,000.
The JMCIM also highlighted progress in areas like industrial cooperation, housing, tourism and the environment.
It noted that cooperation in the areas of Advanced Materials Engineering (AME), Electronics, Creative Services and Food was gaining momentum.
In the area of AME, Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to build up a regional ecosystem of suppliers across both countries to support the fast-growing oil and gas industry in Asia.
In housing, construction has begun on Afiniti Medini, an urban wellness project in Iskandar Malaysia.
The development is on track to be completed by the end of 2015.
The first phase of a separate development in the area, Avira Wellness Resort, will be launched in the first half of this year.
Singapore and Malaysia have also conducted five ecotourism-related workshops.
Representatives from both countries jointly inspected the three Ramsar Johor sites, which are wetlands that are being primed for eco-tourism.
The JMCIM said both countries are exploring collaboration in the MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference, Exhibitions) sector for these sites.
It also noted the good collaboration in the areas of river clean-up and environmental management.
It said most of the identified action plans for river cleaning in Iskandar Malaysia have been implemented and are well on track.