Govt open to reviving HSR project without using public funds, says Loke

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Speed Rail (HSR) project can continue as long as there are investments from the private sector, says the Transport Minister.

Anthony Loke said that the government is open to proposals to revive the project connecting Singapore and Kuala Lumpur without using public funds.

“We’re open to any proposals as long as there are private investments. We’re not stopping it (the HSR project),” he told reporters at the Invest Malaysia event held at The St Regis here on Wednesday (March 8).

The minister, however, added that to date, the government has yet to receive any complete proposal from any party despite talks pushing for the project have been around.

“A lot of parties are talking about the project but we haven’t received any complete proposal.

“There is no timeline for the project because the agreement has been cancelled by the previous administration led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“There’s no urgency in reaching any milestone,” he added.

Loke also said that the government is accepting new mechanisms of funding and implementation of the HSR project.

The HSR project was initially agreed in December 2016 bilaterally, where the project was to be completed by 2026 to reduce travel time between the island nation and Kuala Lumpur to 90 minutes.

However, the project was put on hold in September 2018 with both sides agreeing to shelf the bilateral project worth RM110bil until Dec 31, 2020.

On Jan 1, 2021, Malaysia and Singapore jointly announced the termination of the HSR project, as there was no agreement reached on the changes proposed by Malaysia and that the agreement had expired on Dec 31, 2020.

In March 2021, Malaysia announced it had paid S$102.8mil to Singapore for the cost incurred by the republic for the development of HSR and the delays involved.

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