Najib-Lee meet expected to resolve KTM land issue

Mergawati Zulfakar
The Star

The retreat between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong today is expected to pave the way for a resolution on the status of KTM Bhd land here.

Malaysian officials are looking forward to a positive response from the Singapore leader on a Malaysian proposal for a new location for the KTM railway station in Tanjung Pagar.

The KTM land issue has bogged down ties in the past with both sides playing hardball diplomacy and having their own interpretations of the Points of Agreement (POA) signed in 1990, on the terms of development and status of the KTM land that expands from Woodlands in the north to Tanjung Pagar in the south of Singapore.

Under the POA, Malaysia and Singapore, among other things, agreed that the KTM railway station be moved from Tanjung Pagar to a location to be decided later.

However, over the years, negotiations stalled after both sides failed to agree on where the new location should be in Singapore.

Najib, who made his first official visit as Prime Minister a year ago, has made it clear to Singapore that he did not want old issues to drag on.

Wisma Putra, in a statement, said Najib’s visit provided an opportunity for both leaders to cement their personal ties and enhance the cordial relations between both sides. He and Lee will start with a four-eyed meeting before being joined by their Cabinet ministers.

Najib is accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Ghani Othman.

Malaysia is also looking south to invest in iconic projects, namely a wellness centre and mixed development township in Iskandar Malaysia.

Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor arrived here on Saturday. They paid their last respects to Singapore’s former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee at Parliament House yesterday.

Lee later hosted a dinner for Najib at the Glass Pavillion Resort on Sentosa Island.