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Johor chief minister: State govt hopes Malaysia continues HSR project despite termination with S’pore

JOHOR BARU — The Johor state government wants the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project to continue, even though it does not involve Singapore, following the termination of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR.

Johor's chief minister Hasni Mohammad said that the Malaysian state believes that the federal government would have new plans to replace the cancelled High-Speed Rail project.

Johor's chief minister Hasni Mohammad said that the Malaysian state believes that the federal government would have new plans to replace the cancelled High-Speed Rail project.

JOHOR BARU — The Johor state government wants the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project to continue, even though it does not involve Singapore, following the termination of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR.

Johor’s chief minister Hasni Mohammad said that the state government hoped the project could still continue.

He was optimistic that the federal government would still look into the HSR project in the state despite not having an alignment or station in Singapore.

“Despite the cancellation announcement of the Malaysia-Singapore HSR project by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the state government hopes the project would still be continued.

“Johor will be able to benefit greatly from the HSR’s continuation as a large part of the project involved the state,” Mr Hasni said during a press conference at the Johor United Malays National Organisation liaison committee office on Saturday (Jan 2).

At midnight on Friday, the HSR’s bilateral agreement between Malaysia and Singapore was automatically terminated after it passed the deadline of Dec 31, 2020.

Apart from the termination of the project, Malaysia also has to pay a compensation amount estimated to be about RM300 million (S$99 million) to Singapore.

Mr Hasni said Johor believes that the federal government would have new plans to replace the cancelled HSR project.

“The construction of the HSR project will involve a route of more than 300km, with Johor itself accommodating most of the lines and stations.

“The state government hopes that any new discussions involving the project’s continuation will take into account Johor’s views and interest to ensure that the people of this state will benefit from its implementation,” said Mr Hasni.

Meanwhile, he said that he also wants Putrajaya to look into the need to complete the rail network in the state in any of its new plans.

“At present, there are two rail projects in Johor, namely the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System project and the Gemas-Johor Baru double-tracking project.

“So, if the HSR’s continuation plan is made, the Johor government hopes it will take into account the other lines to complete the rail network in the state,” he said.

On Friday, Malaysia and Singapore announced the termination of the HSR bilateral deal after both countries failed to agree on changes proposed by Malaysia by the deadline of Dec 31, 2020.

Singapore’s Ministry of Transport said Putrajaya would compensate the city-state for costs already incurred in fulfilling its obligations under the agreement.

Malaysia said it would honour its obligations under the HSR bilateral agreement and compensate Singapore. MALAY MAIL

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HSR Malaysia Johor transport

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