International Business & Economy Funding, bilateral issues may delay KL-Singapore high speed railway

Funding, bilateral issues may delay KL-Singapore high speed railway




- Advertisement -

The proposed Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project could see a delay due to issues of funding and geopolitical tensions, The Edge Review reported.

It said that costs are likely to be as high as US$12 billion (RM39.2 billion) for the 340km rail link, which could cut travel time between KL and Singapore from six hours to merely 90 minutes.

The report said that in previous joint ventures between both countries, such as the Second Link bridge which opened in 1998, both countries had financed road construction in their respective territories.

However, this “simplistic approach” cannot be used in the upcoming HSR project, infrastructure sector experts told The Edge Review, quoting Malaysian economic planners.

- Advertisement -

They argued that the economic benefits of the project showed that both governments must map out an equal funding formula.

Putrajaya, said the report, wants to develop Malaysia’s rail industry to increase connectivity, ease traffic congestion in its major cities and draw foreign direct investment as it struggles against competition from Thailand and Indonesia.

The government has indicated that it intends to pump up to RM160 billion in rail projects by 2010.

However, The Edge Review said financial constraints – caused by Putrajaya’s weak finances – are forcing the country to look at alternate funding options.

“Singapore may need to step up to the plate and take on a bigger role in funding this project,” a Malaysian economist close to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s administration was quoted as saying.

But the report said although Singapore was eager to see the HSR project take off, allocating the financing based on perceived economic benefits could raise some issues.

“It is hard to see Singapore agreeing to something like this because it is a difficult call to make on who really gains more,” Manu Bhaskaran of Centennial Asia Advisors was reported as saying.

Yesterday, Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said that Malaysia will begin finalising details of the HSR project with Singapore in the first quarter of next year.

“As far as the feasibility study is concerned, we have submitted (the report) to the (Malaysian) government and they have accepted it. It will go to both the Prime Ministers (of Malaysia and Singapore).

“Two committees have already been established, a technical and a joint ministerial committee,” Syed Hamid had said, adding that Singapore is still doing its own feasibility study expected to complete next year.

He had also admitted that the HSR “was a whole new level” in rail technology, but assured that local rail engineers would be sent for training overseas once the government had decided the country from which the technology would be sourced from.

Seven HSR stops have been confirmed on Malaysia’s side, namely Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Batu Pahat, Muar and Nusajaya. – October 24, 2014.

This article was originally published here.

Please follow and like us:
No tags for this post.
- Advertisement -

Sexual harassment claim: NUS student says he did not receive proper help

Singapore -- A National University of Singapore (NUS) student, formerly from Tembusu College, has written a lengthy social media post not only about how he was sexually harassed by a former student tutor but also about how, when he tried to...

Biden will be nicer to China than Trump

Joseph Biden, the presumptive next US President, will be friendlier to China than US President Donald Trump, judging by Biden’s statements and cabinet selections. Biden’s more harmonious posture towards China will please leaders of various Asian countries including Singapore Prime Minister...

K Shanmugam: In Singapore, the right to speak freely goes with the duty to act responsibly

Singapore—Speaking at the 16th Religious Rehabilitation Group Seminar at Khadijah Mosque on Monday (Nov 24), K Shanmugam, the Minister for Law and Home Affairs, said that the threat of terrorism has not gone away though its “shape and nature” have changed. Citing...
Please follow and like us:
No tags for this post.
Follow Me