Loke: HSR project feasible if not government-funded

KUALA LUMPUR: While there is no final decision yet, the government is still open to proposals to revive the high-speed rail (HSR) project connecting Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, says the Transport Minister.

Anthony Loke said that the project could go on as long as it is not government-funded.

“We’re open to any proposals as long as there are private investments. We are not stopping it,” he told reporters at Invest Malaysia here yesterday.

The minister, however, said that the government has yet to receive a complete proposal from any party.

“A lot of parties are talking about the project, but we have not received any complete proposals. There is no timeline for the project because the agreement was cancelled by the previous administration of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. There’s no urgency in reaching any milestone,” he added.

Loke said the government was accepting new mechanisms for funding and implementing the HSR project.

The project was initially agreed to in December 2016, and it was to be completed by 2026 to reduce travel time between the republic 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.

Malaysia and Singapore jointly announced the termination of the project on Jan 1, 2021, due to a lack of agreement on Malaysia’s proposed changes and the fact that the agreement had expired on Dec 31, 2020.

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

On the Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3), Loke said the government was almost at the final stage of awarding contracts for the project.

He said the Finance Ministry, however, wanted the costs of the projects to be reviewed and lowered.

“MRT Corp has ideas on how to do it (cut down costs) in terms of more collaboration with the private sector and landowners.”

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high-speed rail , HSR , Singapore


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