Loke: HSR project back on only if funded by private sector

MALAYSIA is open to revitalising the abandoned KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, provided it is not funded solely by Putrajaya, according to Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook at the Invest Malaysia programme today.

Loke said he has been instructed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to listen to proposals by the private sector on possibly funding the multibillion ringgit project, although no decision on its revival has been made yet.

“We can talk about it, we are open to proposals, as long as it is not funded by the government. Right now, there are no definite proposals coming in yet,” he told reporters at the event.

“A lot of parties are talking about pursuing it, but we have not received any complete proposals.”

Loke pointed out that the government hasn’t really set a timeline for reviving the project as there isn’t any urgency at the moment.

Malaysia and Singapore first agreed on constructing the 350km high-speed rail line in 2013, before signing a bilateral agreement in Dec 2016, with the project set to be finished in 2026.

The high-speed rail line would have reduced the time it takes to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore to only 90 minutes, as opposed to four hours by car.

Nonetheless, when the Pakatan Harapan formed a government back in 2018, then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad negotiated a two-year delay for the project.

After Dr Mahathir’s administration was ousted from power, his successor Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced in a joint statement with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on January 1, 2021 that the project had been cancelled due to a failure to reach an agreement on proposed changes by Malaysia. – March 8, 2023


Main pic credit: Bernama

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