However, in August 2017, the Sultan of Johor Ibrahim Ismail expressed serious reservations about the proposed development of the railway, stressing that all the winding design and height would disturb the city skyline along Johor Street. He also questioned the need for the two countries to hire separate contractors to establish part of the link in their respective countries and Prasarana Malaysia`s participation in the joint operating company with smrt Corporation to replace the Johor government. He therefore wants the overall plan to be reviewed to ensure that it is “logical, economic and sustainable.”   On 16 January 2018, Singapore and Malaysia signed a bilateral agreement on the project. Signed by Singapore`s Minister of Transport, Khaw Boon Wan, Minister of Infrastructure, and Malaysian Minister in the Ministry of Prime Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan. Singapore`s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak saw at the 8th Singapore-Malaysia meeting that the agreement had concluded certain aspects of the project, including maintenance facilities, operator and customs.  Construction of this 4 km link is expected to begin in 2019. The Prime Minister added that the agreement on the resumption of the project was evidence of close bilateral relations between Malaysia and Singapore and ongoing efforts to strengthen cooperation. In June 2011, Singapore proposed to Malaysia to announce the proposed cross-border rail link to the northernmost station on the Thomson East coast, Woodlands North.  The RTS is a project that connects Johor Baru and Singapore to reduce overload on both the causeway and the second link. In September 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between SMRT Corporation and Prasarana Malaysia to create a joint venture to operate the link.
Details such as control of the operating company were still pending.  “It has been delayed for some time, partly because of political changes and transitions in Malaysia, partly because of the projects, partly because of COVID-19. But anyway, we have now clarified the details, signed the agreements and the work can begin now,” lee said. The RTS link will be the second rail link between the two countries after the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Tebrau shuttle service. In addition, a joint enterprise agreement has been reached between SMRT RTS Pte Ltd of Singapore and Malaysian company RTS Operations Sdn Bhd for the creation of RTS Operations Pte Ltd, as well as an agreement to appoint the operating company for the first 30-year concession period. In an interview with reporters after the ceremony, Lee said he was pleased with the conclusion of the agreements for the RTS Link project and welcomed the start of service at the end of 2026. The statement stated that the project had been resumed following three important agreements. At the 13th meeting of the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia in July 2017, officials from both countries announced that the link was operational until 31 December 2024 and that they had agreed to jointly designate an operating company operating and managing RTS operating systems, including their trains, railways and signalling systems.