Najib Urges Putrajaya To Revive HSR Project

September 29, 2021

Najib Urges Putrajaya To Revive HSR Project

Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak urged Putrajaya to revive the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, saying it would help the country regain the interest and attention of the global economy.

Najib believes the project will provide a new lease of life to the southern economic corridor of the peninsular, such as Batu Pahat, Iskandar Malaysia, Melaka, Seremban and Muar, reported Free Malaysia Today (FMT).

“Aside from efforts to rebuild international relations with major economies that were affected after the 14th general election, Malaysia needs to excite the world again,” he told the Dewan Rakyat during the 12th Malaysia Plan debate.

“Projects like HSR, which would connect two of Asean’s biggest economies, need to be revived according to the original concept and design.”

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Aside from potentially generating US$1.6 billion (RM6.7 billion) in revenue, the project could also create around 70,000 job opportunities directly and indirectly, according to Najib.

This would hinge, however, on the HSR project directly connecting to Singapore, instead of running only from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru, he said.

According to him, the latter would only make the project unviable and cost the country billions in subsidies.

“Reviving the HSR project according to its original plan can also revive the Bandar Malaysia project, worth RM140 billion in terms of gross development value,” he said as quoted by FMT.

He suggested assigning Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for such project, given their success with the Battersea project within the UK.

“This (Bandar Malaysia) project can also be worked on with Singaporean investors since the HSR would connect with the country, if EPF and PNB are of the view that it would bring an advantage,” he added.

“If this happens, I propose that the project be rebranded to Bandar Asean, placing Malaysia as the centre for Asean in efforts to attract the international community’s attention.”

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project was officially cancelled this year, with Malaysia compensating Singapore for costs incurred in fulfilling its obligations under the bilateral agreement.

 

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