KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysia is set to lose billions of ringgit by terminating the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project.
The former prime minister warned that Singapore’s exclusion from a high-speed rail line will make the project unsustainable.
In a Facebook posting today, Najib said building the HSR was justified as the benefits from an increase in tourists from Singapore would bring billions in revenue as well as create jobs for the people that will last for a long time.
“The cost for the HSR KL-Singapore originally was RM60 billion. We must also realise that in the first half of 2019 tourists from Singapore spent RM11.56 billion in Malaysia or an estimated RM25 billion a year.
“If the HSR project can increase tourism from Singapore by 50 per cent, the total amount that Singaporeans tourists will end up spending in Malaysia will increase to RM12.5 billion a year,” he said.
“In 10 years that’s RM125 billion. If it’s 50 years RM625 billion would have come into Malaysia. Hence by replacing the HSR KL-Singapore project to HSR KL-Johor Baru — which costs the same — the country will lose trillions and trillions of ringgit 20 years down the road.”
Malaysia has allowed the HSR contract to expire yesterday. As such, the Singaporean government has asked Malaysia for compensation without specifying the amount.
The initial plan for the KL-Singapore HSR project was to have a game-changing 90-minute rail trip, with the railway having eight stations ― seven in Malaysia and one in Singapore. The seven stations in Malaysia are currently stated as Bandar Malaysia, Sepang-Putrajaya, Seremban, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri, while the Singapore station was stated as Jurong East.
It is however currently unclear what the final route will be now following the termination of the agreement between Malaysia and Singapore.
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