His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, Sultan of Johor virtually officiated the groundbreaking ceremony of the Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link) Project between Johor Bahru and Singapore, marking the commencement of construction works for the project, on 22 November 2020.
The ceremony was carried out at the site of the future Immigration, Customs and Quarantine (ICQ) Building in Bukit Chagar, while the virtual officiation was held from Istana Bukit Serene.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held virtually under the advice of His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, as he was concerned about the safety of the participants if a physical event had taken place even after the lifting of the Conditional Movement Control Order in Johor Bahru.
Present with His Majesty at Istana Bukit Serene were His Royal Highness Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Crown Prince of Johor; Chief Minister of Johor YAB Datuk Haji Hasni Bin Mohammad and Johor State Secretary YB Dato’ Haji Azmi Bin Rohani.
The ceremony started at Bukit Chagar with a welcome speech by Datuk Mohd Zarif Hashim, Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) Chief Executive Officer, which was witnessed by Malaysia Rapid Transit System Sdn Bhd (MRTS) Chairman Datuk Isham Ishak, who is also the Transport Ministry Secretary-General and RTS Link Project Director Ir Zulkifli Mohamed.
To launch the groundbreaking, His Majesty first signed an electronic plaque at Istana Bukit Serene which triggered sirens and pyrotechnics in Bukit Chagar. A bore piling machine then drilled into the ground, signifying the completion of the groundbreaking.
A video presentation on the project was then shown before the official event concluded.
Joining the event via Zoom video conferencing from Bangunan Sultan Ismail at Kota Iskandar, Iskandar Puteri were Johor Executive Council Member for Public Works, Transportation and Infrastructure YB Mohd Solihan Badri and the other State Executive Council Members as well as Federal and Johor State Government agency heads.
Minister of Transport YB Datuk Seri Ir. Wee Ka Siong participated in the event via Zoom video conferencing from the Ministry in Putrajaya.
Among the other guests were Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki, RTS Operations Pte Ltd Chairman Datuk Syed Mohamed Ibrahim, and Prasarana Malaysia Berhad President Group Chief Executive Officer Encik Muhammad Nizam Alias, who joined the event virtually.
In total, around 200 guests celebrated this historic event from different locations in Johor Bahru, Putrajaya and other parts of the country.
MRTS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MRT Corp and was appointed as the Malaysian infrastructure company (InfraCo) of the RTS Project. Its role is to develop and own the Malaysian infrastructure of the RTS Link.