KULAI: Ongoing public transport projects including the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) are not affected by the weakening of the ringgit, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).

He said the ECRL project was already more than 30% into its contract and was on track to meet its Jan 1, 2027 completion date.

“The costs involved in such contracts have been fixed from the start so the value of the ringgit will not affect the commencement of the projects.

“In fact, there are 1,076 project sites in the ECRL, big and small, that are running concurrently,” he told reporters after launching the Johor MCA convention here yesterday.

He said other projects like the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) 2, MRT 3 which was still in the tendering process, Gemas-Johor Baru Electrified Double Track project, as well as the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link), were also ongoing.

“The RTS Link is more than 20% completed overall. I will be having a discussion with the Singapore government in the next one or two days to talk about the technical issues of the project.

“Things that fall under the bilateral agreement of the project such as the relocation of Public Utilities Board utilities will also be discussed,” he added.

Dr Wee said the RTS Link was on track for completion by Dec 31, 2026, and for it to commence operation on Jan 1, 2027.

With a capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour each way, the RTS Link is set to provide easy and comfortable transportation between Johor Baru and Singapore in just five minutes.

On a separate matter, Dr Wee said the ministry had allowed Class D driving licence holders to drive trucks with unladen weight of up to 4,000kg, up from the previous limit of 3,500kg, with immediate effect. This will allow Class D driving licence holders to continue driving the vehicles without having to take the Class E driving licence, which allows the holder to drive vehicles up to 7,500kg unladen.

“I received feedback from a number of industry players about their pickup truck drivers, who hold a Class D driving licence, getting fined for driving vehicles that weighed 3,600kg or 3,800kg unladen.

“This has caused problems for employers.

“As such, the ministry has decided to give special permission to assist industry players in bringing down their transportation costs and ease the hiring of drivers with a Class D driving licence, especially when the country is undergoing economic recovery.

“I believe this will help small and medium enterprises and facilitate their business and even create more job opportunities,” he added.