MoU for high-speed rail project to be signed mid-year

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Singa­pore for the proposed High-Speed Rail (HSR) project linking both countries by the middle of 2016, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“We expect to sign the MoU (for the HSR link) in the middle of this year,” Najib said in his keynote address at the 12th Invest Malaysia annual conference here yesterday.

Reportedly costing RM40bil, the 350km railway link, which was agreed upon between Malaysia and Singapore in 2013, will cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and the island city-state to 90 minutes.

The project is scheduled to begin in 2017, with completion targeted at 2022. It is one of the mega infrastructure projects under the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP).

Najib said development projects under 11MP would remain unaffected, although the Govern­ment had to revise Budget 2016 and cut spending in response to weak global crude oil prices.

He said this was because the Government had structured the reduction in its expenditure in such a way that it would not affect public service delivery.

“The HSR link to Singapore, the Pan Borneo Highway, the MRT and LRT, Pengerang in Johor – they’re all still going ahead. We need them,” he added.