KUALA LUMPUR: The projected infrastructure cost of the Rapid Transit System (RTS Link) project has increased up to 29.9% or RM1.207bil, according to the findings of the Auditor-General’s Report 2/2024.

According to the report, it said the RTS Link project was projected to cost around RM4.038bil in 2018 and this increased to RM5.245bil as of Dec 31, 2023.

“The increase was due to the expansion of depot work scope from light maintenance to heavy maintenance, new contracts under the Traffic Dispersal Scheme, and the construction of the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ).

“The additional infrastructure work for iconic facade and aesthetic bridge structures, additional land acquisition costs, and additional infrastructure costs for parking construction and additional piles at the CIQ Complex also contributed to the increase of the cost projection,” the report said.

The audit also said the government’s allocation for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) and RTS Link projects had been spent according to approved public infrastructure projects.

“However, the increase in project costs could impact the government’s current financial position relative to the benefits to stakeholders and the best value for the project,” the report added.

The RTS Link project is a 4km shuttle train service connecting Malaysia and Singapore, through stations in Bukit Chagar in Johor Baru and Woodlands North in Singapore.

In response to the increased projection cost of the RTS Link project, Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) said the difference in cost per kilometre for Mass Rapid Transit (MRT1) and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT2) were due to the geological terrain and topography, the city and urban coastline routes, systems used and the service strategies and the methods used to implement the projects.

“Apart from that, the increase of the project cost was unavoidable due to the after effects of the Covid-19 pandemic causing the raw materials to increase across the globe,” the report said.