KUALA LUMPUR: A formal request for information (RFI) exercise will be conducted by the Malaysian government this month to solicit private sector interest in constructing the high speed rail (HSR) from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore (KL-SG HSR).
In a statement on Tuesday (July 11), MyHSR Corporation Sdn Bhd (MyHSR Corp), a company wholly-owned by the Minister of Finance (Incorporated), said the government aims to improve intercity mobility with a view to generate socio-economic development through reduced journey time, safe and seamless travel, and enhanced accessibility for our second and third-tier cities.
MyHSR Corp has been tasked to initiate an RFI to solicit concept proposals from industry players, be they local or international, to assess their readiness and capabilities, while gathering innovative business models and supplementary revenue-stream ideas for a privately funded structure.
"With this aim in mind, the government intends to implement our first HSR line in the southern corridor of Peninsular Malaysia," said MyHSR Corp.
In its latest pre-Covid iteration, the KL-SG HSR stretches across six states - Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, and Johor - before crossing the Tebrau Strait into Singapore's Jurong East.
By using the state-of-the-art rolling stocks, the 350km distance from Bandar Malaysia to Jurong East could be completed in 90 minutes through a non-stop service.
A transit service will run in parallel to serve future growth centres in Bandar Malaysia, Sepang-Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat, and Iskandar Puteri.
The unique proposition of the HSR, which will be a bilateral project, is the co-located customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) facilities of both countries at both ends of the line to allow seamless passenger movements.
There will be another co-located CIQ at Iskandar Puteri for the benefit of those using the dedicated shuttle service to Singapore, or those entering Malaysia using the shuttle service.
The memorandum of understanding for the project with Singapore was initially inked on July 16, 2016, when Datuk Seri Najib Razak was prime minister.
The project was cancelled during the tenure of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in 2021, with Malaysia ending up having to compensate Singapore to the tune of RM320mil.
In March this year, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the government did receive some overtures from the private sector for the revival of the project, but none of the offers were sufficiently concrete or attractive at that point.
MyHSR Corp said the exercise will allow the government to assess the industry’s interest and ability to fully fund the project while evaluating their capabilities in developing this major infrastructure project by looking into areas such as technical specifications, project costing, commercial and business models, as well as consortium and governance framework.
“The KL-SG HSR project will bring tremendous benefits to the people, particularly in enhancing and expanding economic dynamism from the Klang Valley to the southern corridor of the peninsula, and eventually to the rest of Malaysia. In addition to providing a new travel option that is safer, faster, more efficient and sustainable, the project will help us generate long-term growth and sustainability for the people and the nation,” said Datuk Seri Fauzi Abdul Rahman, the newly-appointed chairman of MyHSR Corp.
Datuk Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal, CEO of MyHSR Corp, encouraged those with the relevant experience to submit high-quality proposals that would serve as an important reference for the government’s decision on the best way forward.
“MyHSR Corp remains committed in supporting the government to identify the most effective solution to revive the KL-SG HSR project. Globally, developments of HSR have proven to be growth engines, bringing about catalytic development and growth as well as multiplier effects that benefit all walks of life,” said Mohd Nur.
The briefing for the project will take place at the Finance Ministry office at Putrajaya on July 27, with more information available from www.myhsr.com.my/rfi.