Sunday 04 Jun 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (March 8): Putrajaya is open to any proposal to revive the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail project, provided that it does not require any government funding, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

“We have no problem implementing that project, but it must be a private sector-led project, meaning it is not through funding from the government,” he said at the Invest Malaysia 2023 conference on Wednesday (March 8).

Loke said this when asked by the forum’s moderator and Maybank Investment Banking Group (Maybank IBG) chief executive officer Michael Oh-Lau, for an update on the HSR project and the Bayan Lepas Light Rail Transit (LRT) project in Penang.

On the Bayan Lepas LRT project, the minister said: “Bayan Lepas is still very much in the pipeline. The Penang state government wants to pursue the project, and I have given some views about that to see how we can collaborate.”
When approached by reporters later, Loke clarified that the government has not received any proposal yet on reviving the KL-Singapore HSR project.

“We are not stopping it, the prime minister has given me instruction that we can talk about it. We are open to proposals from the private sector, as long as it is not funded by the government. We are open to a completely new mechanism and implementation model.

“The bilateral agreement with Singapore has been terminated by [former prime minister Tan Sri] Muhyiddin Yassin’s government. Right now, there is no timeline for that, no urgency in terms of reaching any milestone,” he said.

In January 2021, Malaysia and Singapore decided to terminate the HSR project as both countries could not reach an agreement on several changes that the Malaysian government proposed.

The termination resulted in Malaysia paying a compensation of S$102.8 million (RM320 million) to Singapore due to costs incurred for the development.

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Edited ByS Kanagaraju
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