Both countries keen to revive HSR project

JOHOR BARU: Reviving the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project is among the topics discussed during a bilateral meeting between the Transport Ministers of both countries.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the HSR project was discussed with his Singaporean counterpart S. Iswaran yesterday.

“The Malaysian government has made its stand clear in that we are keen to revive the HSR project but it must be based on private funding initiative.

“We will continue to engage with each other on the way forward for this particular project,” he told a joint press conference with Iswaran after both ministers visited the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) project here.

Loke said the bilateral meeting was held to enhance connectivity between both countries.

This includes having ferry services and Singapore’s request to add on the current KTM Tebrau shuttle.

Iswaran described the meeting as a good discussion, adding that he took the opportunity to stress on Singapore’s readiness for the HSR.

“We are ready to study any proposal to restart the HSR project. We are ready to work with the Malaysian government,” he said.

On the RTS project progress, both ministers expressed confidence that it would be completed on schedule by the end of 2026 with progress on the Malaysian side at 36% and 45% on the Singapore side.

On March 28, Loke said several overtures had been received by the government from the private sector on its intent to build the HSR using private financing.

In its original proposal, the KL-Singapore HSR would enable non-stop travel from Bandar Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur to Singapore’s Jurong East in not more than 90 minutes.

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.

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