S'pore awaiting new HSR proposal from M'sia

Starting from scratch.

Tan Min-Wei | August 24, 2022, 04:03 PM

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Singapore's Ministry of Transport (MOT) has responded to Malaysian Prime Minister's Ismail Sabri Yaakob's Aug. 22 comments about reviving the cancelled Singapore to Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail (HSR) "as soon as possible".

Good faith

MOT has replied positively over a proposed revival, saying:

"Singapore is willing to discuss any new proposal for a Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail from Malaysia in good faith, starting from a clean slate. We await details of a new proposal from Malaysia."

The HSR was to be a seven stop rail connection. It would have allowed travellers to go from Jurong to central Kuala Lumpur in 90 minutes.

Currently a flight between the two cities would take just over an hour, and a car journey would take about four and a half hours, not including any causeway jams or fights you might get into.

The journey between Singapore and KL is one of the busiest in the world, with over 80 flights a day during the pre-pandemic period.

The HSR project was signed in 2016 by the Barisan Nasional government of former Prime Minister Najib Razak, but was suspended in 2018, and finally canceled at the end of 2020.

But since the new government of Ismail Sabri came to power in 2021, the Malaysian government has suggested restarting the project.

During a leadership meeting between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Ismail Sabri, PM Lee noted the mutual agreement to terminate, but was open to the idea of a revival, according the New Straits Times.

Early discussions

MOT's statement has slightly different wording from what Ismail Sabri himself said on Aug. 22. He said that Malaysian Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong is currently in discussions with his Singaporean counterpart S Iswaran, according to a report by Bernama.

But the MOT's reply that they await new proposals from their Malaysian counterparts indicates that such talks are at an early stage.

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Top image is an artist impression of the Kuala Lumpur Bandar Malaysia HSR Terminus