PUTRAJAYA — April 9, 2019: Malaysia is exploring proposals aimed at reducing the cost of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project and will discuss it further with Singapore in line with the government’s priority to reduce the country’s debts and ensure that all projects are economically viable.
In acknowledging that there are significant economic benefits to enhance public transport connectivity between both countries, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad remarked that projects however have to be feasible and sustainable.
Mahathir spoke today at a joint press conference with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong after the 9th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat here.
Lee said Singapore understood that Malaysia needed time to review the cost and any alternative options, although the republic continued to see it as a good project.
“We look forward to receiving the proposals from Malaysia soon in order to work together with them and find a way forward that will work for both countries.”
Touching on the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link, Mahathir said Malaysia is still looking at affordable and sustainable alternatives, while Singapore is willing to consider the suspension of the project.
On traffic congestion at the Causeway, Lee quoted Mahathir as saying the RTS would not solve the problem of motorcyclists who wish to enter Singapore.
He said Mahathir also pointed out a need to extend the capacity of the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine Complex (CIQs) on both sides due to the growing number of people crossing the Causeway.
Thus Singapore plans to extend its CIQ.
Yesterday, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said Malaysia and Singapore were working towards a new supplemental agreement on the suspended RTS plan. — Bernama