Singapore continuing to improve connectivity with Johor, says PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mrs Lee with Sultan Ibrahim and his wife Raja Zarith

Singapore is continuing to improve connectivity with Johor, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday (Jul 20), adding that the southern Malaysian state plays a crucial role in maintaining close cooperation between the two countries.

Lee was speaking at an official lunch for the Johor Sultan who is in Singapore for a three-day visit.

Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar is accompanied by his wife Raja Zarith Sofiah, crown prince Tunku Ismail and his wife Che’ Puan Besar Khaleeda, Johor’s chief minister Onn Hafiz Ghazi and other state officials.

This is his first official visit to Singapore as Sultan of Johor.

He noted that that there is a new direct ferry service between Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and Desaru Coast Ferry Terminal, which began operations on Jul 7.

“Many Singaporeans are happy that Desaru’s beautiful beaches and memorable seafood places are now more conveniently accessible,” Lee said at the Istana.

“I also look forward to the timely completion of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project. When completed, it will ease congestion on the Causeway, facilitate business and tourism, and foster closer ties between our peoples.”

Sultan Ibrahim will visit the site of the RTS Link Woodlands North terminus on Thursday. The RTS Link, which is expected to transport 10,000 passengers each hour in each direction, is slated to start service in January 2027.

Singapore and Johor are close neighbors and partners, linked by generations of friendship and kinship, said Lee.

“As the key gateway between Singapore and Malaysia, Johor plays a crucial role in maintaining the close cooperation and connectivity between our two countries,” he added.

“This was especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the Sultan’s support, we kept supply lines open across the land borders.”

Singapore also worked closely with the Sultan Ibrahim Johor Foundation to donate vaccines and medical supplies to Johor, Lee added.

On his part, Sultan Ibrahim said he hopes that his visit will further reinforce the bond of friendship and enhance collaboration between the people of Singapore and Johor.

“Over the years, the close cooperation and understanding with Singapore in many ways have benefited Johor, especially in its socio-economic development. I pray for your good health and a bright and prosperous Singapore,” he said.

Two months ago in May, Lee and his wife Ho Ching received high Johor honours from the Sultan at the Istana Besar.

“I thank the Sultan and Her Majesty for their very warm reception in Johor and I am happy to have the opportunity today to reciprocate their gracious hospitality,” said Lee.

Toasting the “enduring friendship between Singapore and Johor”, Lee said: “I look forward to working with Sultan Ibrahim to promote further cooperation between Singapore and Johor. I am confident that with his support, relations between Singapore and Johor will continue to strengthen and deepen.”



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