Kuala Lumpur-Johor HSR Study Completed, Says Mustapa

October 15, 2021

Kuala Lumpur-Johor HSR Study Completed, Says Mustapa

Economic Affairs Minister Mustapa Mohamed said the study on the proposed High Speed Rail (HSR) project connecting Kuala Lumpur with Johor’s Iskandar Puteri has already been completed.

He added that a proposal to link the HSR to Bangkok, Thailand – which was proposed by former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin – was at a “very early” stage, reported Free Malaysia Today (FMT).

“But the study for the KL-Iskandar Puteri HSR is done. We’re just waiting for it to be submitted to the Cabinet,” said Mustapa, who is also known as Tok Pa, during a question-and-answer session at Invest Malaysia 2021 on Thursday (14 October).

He shared that Putrajaya also received several proposals on the MRT3 project, adding that there was need for it.

“But the model has got to be carefully looked at. For us in the government, what’s important is the amount of money the government has got to put in to make the project successful,” said Mustapa as quoted by FMT.

According to him, there were proposals for the MRT3 to be built on a “more moderate basis”, considering the present financial position of the government. He said the government will try to minimise helping out in terms of support loans, land acquisitions and government guarantees.

“In terms of help from the government, under the present circumstances, we’ll have to look at the financial implications. But when the economic situation improves and government coffers have been boosted, then we can revisit some of these projects,” he explained.

“For these two projects, like MRT3 for example, the need is there. We’re now at about 20% in usage of public transport, which is very low for a country at this level of development…We aspire to go to 40% or 50% and, if possible, beyond that. This is also very important in terms of sustainable development.”

He revealed that his ministry is exploring a new Public-Private Partnership model (PPP 3.0) that may be more sustainable, targeted at reducing the financial commitments of the government upon the completion of any project.

He pointed that the government previously pay maintenance charges following the completion of a project, in addition to helping in land acquisitions, offering government guarantees and supporting loans.

“But the general principle is, firstly, we are thinking of providing some form of one-off assistance and, secondly, the implementation of a project should not result in an additional burden on the government,” he said.

He noted, however, that this are still a work in progress and that a concept paper will be presented to the Cabinet once finalised.

 

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