Malaysia confirms commitment to building KL to Singapore highspeed rail
The Minister of Finance in Malaysia, Tengku Zafrul Aziz, has reaffirmed the country’s commitment to growing their transport infrastructure. The announcement came whilst he was delivering an overview of the government’s annual budget plans.
US$3.63 billion will be used to continue projects including;
- Gemas-Johor Bahru Railway Electrified Double-Tracking project
- Phase 1 of the Klang Valley Double Tracking project
- Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System
- Pan Borneo Highway
- Kuala Lumpur’s MRT network
Although not specifying what budgets will be awarded to each project, Tengku Zafrul Aziz gave his backing to the Malaysia to Singapore highspeed rail project. Mr Aziz stated “Basically the government intends to continue with the HSR project because this project is able to generate a positive multiplier effect on the national economy. However, this also depends on continuing discussions with Singapore.”
Deferred projects returning
The general election loss for Najib Razak and his Barisan Nasional (BN) party in 2018 had meant that Malaysia’s infrastructure were re-evaluated. Even before the world started dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, many of Malaysia’s projects large construction projects had already been deferred.
The Kuala Lumpur to Singapore highspeed rail project was officially placed on hold in September 2018. It was due to recommence in May 2020. However, Malaysia asked Singapore for a further extension to the end of 2020 as they needed further time to consider financial and technical proposals for the project. Now, as the December 31st deadline approaches, Malaysia has given its biggest indication that the project will return.
Kuala Lumpur’s MRT2 and LRT3, and the East Coast Rail Link are already continuing after having their costs reduced. The Johor Bahru to Singapore Rapid Transit System has also recently restarted after also being deferred in 2018.
We’re still unclear as to whether Klang Valley MRT3 is also being relived. The project, also known as the Circle Line, was previously being developed to provide a line to loop around Kuala Lumpur city. The MRT would run through areas like Ampang Jaya, KL City Centre, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Tun Razak Exchange, Mont’ Kiara and Sentul. It’s hoped that a full budget next month will provide more details on the exact plans for the project.
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