The proposed High Speed Rail (HSR) link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore is making good progress. – Channel News Asia

SINGAPORE: The proposed High Speed Rail (HSR) link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore is making good progress.

This was revealed in a joint statement after the 10th Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee Meeting for Iskandar Malaysia (JMCIM).

The meeting was held in Singapore, and was co-chaired by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan and Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Abdul Wahid Omar.

Also present were Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew and Johor’s chief minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

The JMCIM said discussions over how to improve connectivity and linkages between the two cities have begun.

The Rapid Transit System between Singapore and Johor Bahru is also on track.

Both countries have agreed to work towards a preferred and agreed option by the end of this year.

For now, people travelling between both countries can benefit from 20 cross-border bus services, up from the previous 16.

Both sides are currently reviewing new landing points to enhance the bus network.

More people have also applied for faster immigration clearance from Singapore into Malaysia last year, highlighting both countries’ progress in facilitating cross-border movement.

Some 127,000 new applications for the Malaysian Automated Clearance System were made last year, taking the total number of applications since 2009 to nearly 372,000.

The JMCIM also highlighted progress in areas like industrial cooperation, housing, tourism and the environment.

It noted that cooperation in the areas of Advanced Materials Engineering (AME), Electronics, Creative Services and Food was gaining momentum.

In the area of AME, Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to build up a regional ecosystem of suppliers across both countries to support the fast-growing oil and gas industry in Asia.

In housing, construction has begun on Afiniti Medini, an urban wellness project in Iskandar Malaysia.

The development is on track to be completed by the end of 2015.

The first phase of a separate development in the area, Avira Wellness Resort, will be launched in the first half of this year.

Singapore and Malaysia have also conducted five ecotourism-related workshops.

Representatives from both countries jointly inspected the three Ramsar Johor sites, which are wetlands that are being primed for eco-tourism.

The JMCIM said both countries are exploring collaboration in the MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference, Exhibitions) sector for these sites.

It also noted the good collaboration in the areas of river clean-up and environmental management.

It said most of the identified action plans for river cleaning in Iskandar Malaysia have been implemented and are well on track.

– CNA/fa

KL-S’pore high speed rail link will take off albeit some time later, says Hishammuddin – The Sun Daily

SINGAPORE (Feb 13, 2014): Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussien says the High Speed Rail Link (HSR) between Kuala Lumpur-Singapore will take off although it will take some time to be realised.

He said the massive project was an economic initiative that not involved the Transport Ministry but also the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department.

“That’s what I say…things that we thought impossible, and only a few years back, the two prime ministers of Malaysia and Singapore have reached such a good level of working arrangement and relationship to come up with the iconic project to bind us, that I think will go ahead,” he said.

Earlier, Hishammuddin, who is also Defence Minister, attended a ceremony in honour of fallen World War 11 hero, Lt Adnan Saidi and his team from the Malay Regiment, who were killed in a battle defending Singapore from the invading Japanese 71 years ago.

Also present was Malaysia’s High Commissioner to Singapore Datuk Husni Zai Yaacob.

At the the Leaders’ Retreat here in February 2013, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the 330km project at an estimated cost of US$12 billion.

The project, expected to be completed in 2020, will shorten travel time to just 90 minutes between the two cities.

It was an idea initiated in the 1990s but never took off.

Hishammuddin said the completion of the HSR would bring enormous economic benefits to both neighbouring countries.

“I am just looking around what’s happening in the world, (if) you see the train that comes from London to Paris..the benefits that come from it..and imagine the train coming from Singapore to KL…what are the benefits, but it is still some time away before we can get there,” he said, adding that it would take place.

The Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia has been tasked to look into the details and the modalities of the HSR to improve connectivity and linkages between Malaysia and Singapore.

A HSR Work Group was then formed and it has made good progress since its formation in December 2013.

Discussions have started with a working session held last month.

The work group has identified matters for joint deliberations. – Bernama