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