JOHOR BARU: Malaysia's decision to discontinue the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail (HSR) project exposes the Perikatan Nasional government’s weaknesses and flip-flop stand, says Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
The Umno vice-president questioned why a game-changer project like the HSR, which was supposed to bring about huge economic impact to the Malaysia economy, was politicised and constantly changed until it was discontinued.
“Will other infrastructure projects which will bring about huge benefits to the people be discontinued by the Perikatan government?” he asked.
Mohamed Khaled, who is former Johor mentri besar, said that according to a Japanese simulation analysis, the HSR was supposed to contribute US$1.589bil (RM6.38bil) to the Malaysian economy each year, which was 2.5 times more than to the Singapore economy.
He said the HSR project would have spurred social economic development along the HSR track alignment and helped with development in the southern part of the country.
“There would have been a lot of spillover effects for this project in terms of economy, job opportunities, business opportunities, investments and tourism, ” he said, adding that all these benefits would have exceeded the cost of the infrastructure.
He added that the discontinuation of the project exposed the government’s weaknesses in terms of administration and decision-making.
“Malaysia has now lost a golden opportunity to strengthen our relations with two major metropolis cities, which are among the main economic engines of South-East Asia, ” he said.