JOHOR BARU, Jan 2 — The Johor state government wants the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project to continue, even though it does not involve Singapore, following the termination of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said following the termination of the HSR project, the state government hopes the project can still continue.
He was optimistic that the federal government will still look into the HSR project in the state despite not having an alignment or station in Singapore.
“Despite the cancellation announcement of the Malaysia-Singapore HSR project by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the state government hopes the project would still be continued.
“Johor will be able to benefit greatly from the HSR’s continuation as a large part of the project involved the state,” said Hasni during a press conference at the Johor Umno liaison committee office in Yahya Awal here today.
At midnight yesterday, the HSR’s Bilateral Agreement between Malaysia and Singapore was automatically terminated after it passed the deadline on December 31, 2020.
Apart from the termination of the project, Malaysia has to also pay a compensation amount estimated to be about RM300 million to Singapore.
Hasni said Johor believes that the federal government will have new plans to replace the HSR project which has since been canceled.
“The construction of the HSR project will involve a route of more than 300 kilometers, with Johor itself accommodating most of the lines and stations.
“The state government hopes that any new discussions involving the project’s continuation will take into account Johor’s views and interest to ensure that the people of this state will benefit from its implementation,” said Hasni, who is also the Benut assemblyman.
Meanwhile, Hasni said he also wants Putrajaya to look into the need to complete the rail network in the state in any of its new planning.
“At present, there are two rail projects in Johor, namely the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Project and the Gemas-Johor Baru double tracking project.
“So, if the HSR’s continuation plan is made, the Johor government hopes it will take into account the other lines to complete the rail network in the state,” said Hasni.
Yesterday, Malaysia and Singapore both issued separate statements to announce the automatic termination of the HSR Bilateral Agreement.
Singapore’s Ministry of Transport said Putrajaya had allowed the HSR bilateral agreement to be terminated and has agreed to compensate the island republic for costs already incurred in fulfilling its obligations under the agreement.
Malaysia, on the other hand, said it would honour its obligations under the HSR Bilateral Agreement with Singapore and pay compensation.
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