Dispute on development charges for KTM land resolved

The Permanent Court of Arbitration has decided M+S Pte Ltd will not have to pay development charges on three parcels of land formerly occupied by Malayan Railways (KTM) in Singapore.

In September 2010, Singapore and Malaysia had different views on the development charges on the three parcels of Points of Agreement (POA) land in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands. The Prime Ministers of both countries agreed to settle the issue through arbitration and agreed to accept the arbitration award as final and binding.

In January 2012, the neighbouring counties submitted the issue to final and binding arbitration and the award was delivered on 30 October 2014.

In a Joint statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in both countries said, “It decided that M+S Pte Ltd would not have been liable to pay development charges on the Keppel, Kranji and Woodlands parcels if the said parcels had been vested in M+S Pte Ltd and if M+S Pte Ltd had actually developed the lands in accordance with the proposed land uses set out in the Annexes to the POA.”

Both Singapore and Malaysia are satisfied with the arbitral process.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in another statement, “Singapore fully accepts the Tribunal’s decision. It allows us to put this matter behind us.”

With the issue resolved, Singapore and Malaysia can move on to work on future projects that will benefit both countries, said Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam on 2 November.

According to media reports, Mr Shanmugam said, “It’s benefiting both the people of Malaysia and Singapore. We have developments now and joint venture in Iskandar, they have (theirs) here – all being done together. It encourages people-to-people movement and more commercial activities.”

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