Singapore, Malaysia finalise land swap deal

Singapore and Malaysia have settled a land swap agreement for four land parcels in Marina South and two land parcels in the Ophir-Rochor area.

This goes toward implementing the 1990 Points of Agreement (POA) on Malaysian Railway Land in Singapore.

These details were revealed by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak after they met in Singapore on Monday.

The Singapore government will vest the four land parcels in Marina South and the two land parcels in Ophir Rochor in M-S Pte Ltd – the company formed to look into the implementation details.

This is in lieu of the three parcels of POA land in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands, as well as parcels of land in Bukit Timah.

Giving details, a joint statement said the four Marina South parcels are located at the heart of the financial business cluster in Singapore’s Marina Bay.

The two Ophir-Rochor parcels are located next to the Kampong Glam historic district in a new growth corridor that is being developed as an extension of Singapore’s Central Business District.

Both leaders told reporters that they differed on one area — which was the development charges payable on three parcels of railway land involved in Malaysia’s land swap.

But they stressed that this will be sent to the Permanent Court of Arbitration, to be settled amicably.

“The different view is whether the development charge is payable on the three parcels of POA land in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

“Singapore’s view is that it is; Malaysia’s view is that it is not. It is not some thing we can just argy-bargy over.

“We have decided the best way to solve this is to have arbitration and have a impartial settlement which both sides can accept,” he said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said: “It is an enhanced version of the original POA which signifies a deep commitment from the Singapore government and the prime minister himself that we should try as far as possible to make this agreement not only legally correct but also politically correct, in a sense that it can be accepted by the peoples of Malaysia and Singapore”.

Both prime ministers said the arbitration will proceed on its own track, and will not affect the implementation of the POA, and the other bilateral initiatives agreed on May 24 this year when the leaders met for a retreat here.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 20 Sep 2010

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