Kuala Lumpur to Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) has been under discussion for a while now. On August 11, Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Minister met with the representatives of Singaporean government. The detailed report mentioning the discussion of the meeting will be presented to the Malaysian government within this week. The subject of the meeting was finding solutions of the current HSR issues.
The Malaysian Economic Affairs Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, wrote a letter on 23 July inviting for this discussion. The Singaporean government accepted the invitation hence the meeting of August 11.
The HSR project was actually introduced by Malaysia in 2013. It is aimed to be a 350 km track that will cut down the travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, bringing it down to 90 minutes only. Despite the enthusiasm from both sides in the beginning of the project, there have been mixed feelings more recently.
On May 9, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) won the elections and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed became the new Prime Minister. He, along with some of the new cabinet members have been against the HSR project. They want to cut down this project’s expense since their first priority is to resolve Putrajaya’s $336 billion debt. However, they are suggesting a delay rather than canceling the HSR project.
As for the Malaysian government, they have been confused too. This is why this recent meeting was so important. It could have been a decisive meeting for the future of this project.
Datuk Osman Sapian, the Johor Chief Minister, told that the HSR project isn’t the only topic of discussion. The current government is going through many other projects that were approved by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government. This is a step being taken to ensure that the current government doesn’t get monopolized by overpowering industries. If any past approval poses a threat or a risk, the project will be opened for an open tender without considering the size or scale of the project. Mr. Sapian says that the state is moving towards a ‘fair and balanced system’ by taking this step.
Mr. Sapian confirmed that although the government isn’thesitant to take down projects that don’t seem suitable for the future, major projects such as the HSR haven’t been canceled. They are just been looked over and postponed for the best possible interest of the state.
Eco park and HSR are the two major projects of Johor. They are both going through discussions. The people were afraid of their cancelation but it has been confirmed that nothing of the sort is to be expected. Moreover, these projects are being researched more thoroughly to find details regarding price points, pros as well as cons.
The report of the recent meeting is being eagerly waited for. From what little has been revealed, people are expecting a good news. The doubts of cancelation have been eradicated, providing relief for many enthusiastic citizens who are looking forward to the completion of the HSR project.