The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) is expected to contribute RM21 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) growth to Malaysia and Singapore and create 111,000 jobs by 2060.
Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) CEO Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah, said through a comprehensively inclusive plan, the HSR was expected to deliver significant socio-economic benefits to both Malaysia and Singapore.
“The KL-Singapore HSR is a game-changer and it will pull isolated regions closer, spur growth and development and help several towns along the way and unleash their hidden potential by making them highly accessible, not just to tourists, but also to workers and investors,” he said in his opening keynote address at the 4th International Summit of the HSR Asia 2017 today.
He said the HSR project is expected to not only transform the transport landscape but also create long-term economic and social benefits for Malaysia.
“We expect the HSR to substantially increase the number of travellers across the two countries, and under the transit-oriented development concept, engender economic activities along its route, including and not limited to business activities in the surrounding areas of the stations,” he said.
He said there is so much pent-up demand for travel between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, as seen by the number of cross-border buses and flights between the two cities.
“Introducing the rail into the equation will offer a competitive option that promises to not just save time but also lead to many other opportunities,” he said.
Nevertheless, he said, there were complex issues to be worked on, including funding options, network expansion, capacity increment, communications and signalling and safety and security.
“In this regard, complex undertakings like a cross-border high-speed rail cannot be executed by looking at mere anecdotes or skimming through easy examples – we need to analyse comprehensive data sets to arrive at more robust conclusions,” he said.
He said that together with its counterparts, Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA), SPAD would ensure that safety remained the key consideration in design and operations of the HSR.
Mohd Azharuddin said following the success of the first industry briefing held in Singapore on July 5, MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd and LTA would jointly conduct the second briefing in preparation for the HSR tender.
“The second briefing, which is scheduled for Sept 26, 2017, will provide in-depth information on technical, commercial and project governance aspects of the project and also serve as a platform to share key features of the project with the industry and interested participants.”
He said Malaysia and Singapore are expected to sign a bilateral agreement for the Johor Baru-Woodlands Rapid Transit System Link project this December.
The two-day summit, which starts today, discussed the challenges and opportunities in high-speed rail and rail construction in Asia based on the success of other countries.