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Johor Sultan plans to revive the high-speed rail (HSR) link project with Singapore next year

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar plans to revive the high-speed rail (HSR) link project with Singapore that has been put on the back-burner.

In an exclusive interview with the Singapore Straits Times, the 17th Yang Di-Pertuan Agong was reported saying that he have some ideas on how to get the project back on track.

“I will make it (come back) on,” he was quoted saying,

He was reported saying that the line could be funded through a private finance initiative whereby the government pays the contractor to operate the line on a 30-year lease so that it can recoup its costs, before taking ownership of the HSR.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's government has said that it is open to reviving the HSR, but it will not fund the 350km line last estimated to cost more than RM100 billion.

“If you stayed to your first proposal, it’s only so much. But because of your on-off-on-off, today it is so much (more),” he said, referring to the initial RM72 billion cost estimate when the rail link was first announced in 2013.

Sultan Ibrahim said that the HSR between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore should also be aligned such that the border crossing is via Forest City, the troubled property development in Johor.

In August, Anwar said that Malaysia will submit a new proposal regarding the HSR project to Singapore.

He said the new proposal would then be brought forth by Transport Minister Anthony Loke for Singapore’s consideration.

On Novermber 2, Loke said the government is examining a new implementation model for the proposed HSR project.

He said it includes a new financing model to determine whether any private parties are interested in covering the cost of the project, system management and the operation of the HSR.