HSR unnecessary for now, Dr Mahathir maintains stand

HSR unnecessary for now, Dr Mahathir maintains stand

CYBERJAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad maintained that the Malaysia-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) is not of priority since only a few states would benefit from such infrastructure development project.

“For Malaysia at the moment, a high-speed train is not really necessary, especially as it is only within Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

“So, we will not build the high speed train yet, but we will want to improve the quality of service given by our railway system, and that has been done to some extent, by double tracking and electrification,” he told a forum attended by local railway experts and companies.

“For the time being, we are not going to build.

“We have asked for two years before we talk again,” the prime minister said. “At the moment, we have not given any contracts. So we have to compensate Singapore.”

The Malaysia Rail Industry Corporation (MARIC) organised the forum today together with Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) at MIGHT Partnership Hub.

he HSR is expected to cover the 300 km between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and cut travel time between the two to just 90 minutes.

After winning the general election last year, the Mahathir administration indicated that it was not keen to pursue this and suggested the HSR will be cancelled.

However, the Pakatan Harapan government made a U-turn and signed a supplementary agreement with Singapore on September 5, 2018, to defer the construction of the proposed HSR until May 31, 2020.