KL-HSR Proposals Presented To Prime Minister

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (KL-SG HSR) project proposal has been presented to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim by the Transport Ministry and it is expected to be submitted for Cabinet’s approval in the coming months.

Key takeaways from the inaugural J.P. Morgan Malaysia+ Forum said Transport Minister Anthony Loke highlighted that proposals for the KL-SG HSR project have been presented to PM and the project will be submitted for Cabinet’s approval soon.

In May, Loke said discussions on the project with Singapore would only start after it receives Cabinet approval. JP Morgan said in a today note that the project will be led by the private sector, with Malaysia-based consortiums potentially be awarded with work packages in Malaysia.

It was earlier reported that the KL-SG HSR project is estimated to cost up to about RM70 billion, 30 to 35 per cent lower from the previously reported RM110 billion.

The project will include seven stations in Malaysia comprising Bandar Malaysia, Sepang-Putrajaya, Seremban, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri, before reaching its last destination in Jurong East, Singapore.

The revival of the 350-km-long line project was announced last year after it was called off in March 2021 due to prolonged suspension following a government change in 2018. Malaysia paid S$102.8 million (RM320.27 million) to Singapore for the costs incurred in relation to the project after its termination then.

MyHSR Corporation, a government-owned entity, is mandated to oversee the project’s development where it had received concept proposals from seven local and international consortia by the deadline in January this year.

The request for information (RFI) was held in order for the Malaysian government to assess the private sector’s ability to fully finance the project without state funds or guarantees.

JP Morgan, on the MRT3 project, said Loke revealed that the government is exploring different funding models for the project.

“The costs could potentially be recouped by developing transit-oriented developments through partnerships with private developers,” it said in its key takeaways from the forum was attended by more than 100 investors, three ministers and 25 corporates.

In February last year, Anwar said the cost of the MRT3 project will be reviewed, with the aim of lowering it to RM45 billion from RM50 billion previously. When the project was announced in 2018, the project’s cost was estimated at RM68 billion.

The 51km-long line is the final piece to complete KL’s urban rail work that will have 32 stations and is expected to commence in 2032.

MRT Corp Sdn Bhd is a government-owned entity that is mandated to develop three MRT projects in Klang Valley and cross Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link). In the Auditor-General’s (AG) Report published on July 4, recently flagged the MRT Corp’s unstable financial position as it has incurred a RM181.5 million loss before tax in 2023. It also revealed that the company has an accumulated losses amounting RM57.624 billion since it was established in 2011.

However, the report said that MRT Corp achieved its establishment objectives and its corporate governance was satisfactory.

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