KL-S’pore high-speed rail link gets a rethink

By Minderjeet Kaur and Ling Poh Lean, NST

KUALA LUMPUR: The government may go ahead with the high-speed train between the capital city and Singapore.

The project is expected to cut rail travelling time from the usual seven hours, to just two.

Various policymakers and government agencies involved in improving public transport in the country are studying the issue in detail.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the government would wait for feedback from its Singaporean counterparts.

“It now depends on the Singaporean government to allow us to carry out the project as the track will go into their land,” he said.

The train is expected to travel at 250 to 300kph.

It is learnt that some transport agencies involved in the planning had proposed to have stops in Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor.

“People can hop on the train at KL Sentral or at other stops and reach Singapore in just under two hours.

“It can be viable as we will have more people travelling between both countries.”

He said it might also become the main source of transport as people would be able to get to their destination faster than travelling by air.

“Travellers will not have to go through the hassle of check-in and check-out or having to hire a taxi from the airport to the business district,” he added.

He said the government agencies involved in the planning were also looking at immigration matters and the number of visitors the train would attract to Malaysia.

The project was first mooted by the YTL Group in 2006 but it was not given the green light by the government because of the high cost involved.

But it was cited as a high-impact project in the Economic Transformation Programme.

In August, the Land Public Transport Commission conducted a pre-feasibility study on the project’s economic viability and impact assessment.