KUALA LUMPUR — May 3, 2019: The government will take back any land for the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System project if ownership had been transferred to any party without going through due process.
“Yes … we will demand the land back. If there was a transfer by any party they must go through the due process,” said Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed today relating to claims that one of the five plots of land was transferred to the Sultan of Johor during the time of the Barisan Nasional administration.
“We (government) heard the rumours from the press that the land had been taken over by the Sultan of Johor. About payment we do not know,” he said.
The Pakatan Harapan which came to power from May last year said last month that it had applied for a six-month extension until September from Singapore to decide the fate of the RTS. The agreement was signed in January last year, with work scheduled to start this year and expected to be completed by December 2024.
Asked if the government was willing to buy back the land from the sultan, Mahathir replied thus: “If he has paid of course we have to buy it back but if he hasn’t paid, then we won’t buy back… it is our land.”
To another question Mahathir had this to say: “I don’t think His Highness would want to seize federal land. We will have to file claims to show it belonged to us.”
He explained that the government had requested the extension to review if the RTS should continue or be amended.
“… but the RTS clearly does not solve traffic congestion between Singapore and Malaysia. If we build the train it can’t carry all the passengers who are going to and from Singapore and it can’t carry all the motorcycles. The train is limited in terms of capacity,” he said.
The RTS plan is to have a 4-kilometre link between Bukit Chagar and Woodlands, with a capacity for 10,000 passengers per hour. — Bernama