For those of you dreaming of 90-minute rides to Kuala Lumpur, it might actually happen (for real this time).
After cancelling the SG-KL High-Speed Rail project in early 2021, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob shared on 22 August that Malaysia is currently discussing a possible revival of the project.
First Conceived in 2016, Cancelled in 2021
The HSR project was made official in December 2016 when Malaysia and Singapore first signed a legally binding agreement on the project. The HSR was planned to span 350km and have seven stations between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
The railway line, which was supposed to be completed in 2026, would have allowed us to travel to KL in 90 minutes, versus more than four hours via car. Everyone was super excited about this project, especially our friends who commute from Malaysia to Singapore daily.
However, Malaysia requested the project to be suspended in 2018, following a change in government after Malaysia’s 2018 elections. The project was then cancelled in early January 2021 after the two countries were unable to come to a consensus on proposed changes.
For deferring and then cancelling the project, Malaysia had to pay Singapore $15 million and $102 million respectively.
Singapore’s foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan visited KL in May 2022, and said that Malaysia may be restarting discussions on the HSR.
On 22 August, Malaysia’s PM Mr Ismail revealed that his transport minister Wee Ka Siong is in discussions with Singapore’s S. Iswaran over the revival of the HSR project.
If it is truly revived, the project’s terms and conditions will have some changes, In particular, Malaysia has plans to establish HSR between Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
Since China and Thailand are also going to build an HSR, the railway line could stretch all the way from Singapore to China.
“It is an ongoing discussion,” stated Mr Ismail.
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