PETALING JAYA: Malaysia and Singapore will sign the bilateral agreement for the High Speed Rail (HSR) project at the leaders’ retreat in Putrajaya on Dec 13, officials confirmed.
The signing was delayed by a week after Singapore requested time to brief the republic’s president.
Officials said after Singapore asked for a postponement, several dates were suggested and the leaders agreed to meet next Tuesday.
The bilateral agreement comes after the signing of the memorandum of understanding in Putrajaya on July 19, paving the way for more detailed planning and development of the ambitious rail link.
The HSR service is targeted to be up and running by 2026 and will cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to just 90 minutes.
The HSR line will stretch 350km, with 335km in Malaysia and 15km in Singapore.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said last week that both sides had made “very good progress” on the agreement, which will spell out details such as cost sharing and how the project will be built and operated.
Several countries including China, Japan and South Korea have showed interest in the project, which is the first in South-East Asia.
During the Malaysia-Singapore leaders’ sixth annual retreat in Singapore last year, Lee cautioned that due to its massive scale and complexity, many details had to be worked out.
“How the line is going to be designed, who will operate the company, how it will be structured, or if it will be multiple companies.
“There are also financial issues to be worked out on where is the funding going to come from, the equity, (and) how is it going to be divided between two parties,” Lee told a press conference.
The HSR line will begin in Bandar Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, and end at Jurong East in Singapore.
It will have six transit stations in Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri.