JOHOR BAHRU, June 19 2018 : Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian said today he hopes to meet Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad soon to discuss issues related to the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project and Pulau Batu Puteh (Pedra Branca).
Osman said he had written to Dr Mahathir on his intention of hopefully having the meeting next week.
“I will state the Johor government’s stand on these two issues after my meeting with the Prime Minister.
“The state government is hopeful that at this meeting, we can get further clarification and details on both these issues from the Prime Minister because these are issues very close to the government and people of Johor. After that, we will decide whether we want to proceed with them or not,” he said.
He spoke to reporters after officiating at the 20th Annual Delegates Meeting of the Malaysian Government Pensioners Association (PPKM) of Johor here.
While briefing the media on the outcome of a three-day working visit to Japan, recently, Dr Mahathir said the government had not scrapped the HSR project but had only postponed it.
The decision, he said, was that the government could not afford the project at the moment but he did not deny that there was a need for a high-speed train in the future.
On May 30, Dr Mahathir also said that Malaysia would reconsider its challenge of the judgement of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Pulau Batu Puteh.
The ICJ ruled that Singapore had sovereignty over Pulau Batu Puteh after the two countries brought their claim over the small island to ICJ.
Meanwhile, Osman said, the Takaful Scheme for Senior Citizens and Kad Sihat Johor (Johor Medical Card) promised in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto for Johor were in the final stages prior to their expected implementation next week. He said the two schemes were expected to benefit 200,000 retirees and others who are eligible in the state.
Earlier, at the meeting, Osman announced that government grants amounting to RM100,000 would continue to be provided to PPKM as was done by the previous Barisan Nasional government. – Bernama