KL- Singapore HSR high-speed rail project terminated

KL- Singapore HSR high-speed rail project terminated

It’s official. The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project has finally been called off for good. The announcement of the project’s termination was made on January 1 by both Malaysia and Singapore, which could not come to an agreement on proposed changes, The Star reports.

In a joint press statement, prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong said the Malaysian government had proposed several changes to the HSR project in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its economy. However, an accord could not be reached.

“Both governments had conducted several discussions with regard to these changes and had not been able to reach an agreement. Therefore, the HSR agreement had lapsed on December 31, 2020. Both countries will abide by their respective obligations, and will now proceed with the necessary actions, resulting from this termination of the HSR agreement,” the statement read.

In December 2016, the two countries signed a bilateral agreement to facilitate the project, which was supposed to have begun construction in 2018 and completed in 2025, with operations slated to begin in 2026.

In September 2018, at the request of Malaysia, both governments agreed to postpone the project until May 31, 2020 to allow for the identification of cost reduction options, including reviewing and optimising the alignment, station locations and the business model. The deferment resulted in Malaysia paying S$15 million (around RM45.1 million at the time) as compensation for the abortive costs incurred by Singapore. The payment was made at the end of January 2019.

In May 2020, the deferment was again extended to December 31. The decision to cancel the project will incur cost for the country. Previoulsy, it was reported that Malaysia would have to reimburse Singapore for the project implementation costs incurred by the latter up to the point of suspension, with the compensation amount initially said to be around RM500 million. The latest figure is said to be RM300 million.

KL- Singapore HSR high-speed rail project terminated

The HSR was originally planned as a 350 km-long double-track route (335 km of which was supposed to be in Malaysia, and 15 km in Singapore) with eight stops in total – Singapore, Iskandar Puteri, Batu Pahat, Muar, Ayer Keroh, Seremban, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur. A bridge over the Straits of Johor – with a height clearance of 25 metres – would have linked the line between both countries.

The service was projected to run 10 car-long trains – with the capacity for up to 100 passengers per car – at average speeds of 300 km/h, which would bring the rail travel time between KL and Singapore down to 90 minutes, excluding clearance at customs, immigration and quarantine.

Two years ago, a much cheaper alternative to the HSR was mooted, and this proposed an upgrade to existing rail infrastructure instead of the HSR’s approach of building a new line from scratch. This more affordable alternative – with a slightly longer 130-minute travel time – was then estimated to cost the Malaysian government RM20 billion, a far lower sum than the HSR’s estimated cost of between RM60 billion to RM70 billion.

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Anthony Lim believes that nothing is better than a good smoke and a car with character, with good handling aspects being top of the prize heap. Having spent more than a decade and a half with an English tabloid daily never being able to grasp the meaning of brevity or being succinct, he wags his tail furiously at the idea of waffling - in greater detail - about cars and all their intrinsic peculiarities here.



  • John Doe on Jan 04, 2021 at 11:12 am

    This news is at least a few days old ??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
    • Norlia on Jan 04, 2021 at 11:25 am

      Bila gagal merancang, mereka memang merancang untuk gagal …. Guess who’s the government in December 2016…incompetent.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 23
      • Civic Turbo 2018 on Jan 04, 2021 at 1:33 pm

        Badut tu sign up projek2 keretapi tapi semua rugi duit punya… MRT1/2, LRT3, ECRL, HSR… kns betol!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 17
        • Avenger on Jan 04, 2021 at 5:20 pm

          Public transport infrastructure is to service the public, never to make profit from the public. Please show me where in this world got public transport service that reaps huge profits and not angering the users.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3
          • Copy & Paste III on Jan 04, 2021 at 11:52 pm

            Malaysia Airlines

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7
          • Make Malaysia Great Again on Jan 05, 2021 at 12:34 pm

            If MAS was making profits, why did they need Govt bail out? Try again laa…

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
      • Gomorrah on Jan 04, 2021 at 1:52 pm

        Betul. Same government that sold the Tanjong Pagar station and all the KTM land that Malaysia had sovereignty over. Bikin servis keretapi itu gomen tak pandai.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 10
        • This is all due to incompetent gomen of 2018-2020. Lucky they were kicked out but as we see here, damage is already done and we simply lost RM 300mil because of them. Let this be a lesson we don’t repeat for next 60 years.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 20
          • it’s RM890mil now, not including other bad decisions. I reckon they wasted our entire 2018 and 2019 GDP.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
      • Jeremy on Jan 04, 2021 at 3:59 pm

        Incompetent era 2018-2020 costed us RM 300mil. Hope we never repeat that mistake again.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 15
  • Donno on Jan 04, 2021 at 11:34 am

    Other than giving a shorter travel time from KL to Singapore, actually singapore will have the most benefit from the HSR.

    With shorter travel time from KL to Singapore, there is basically no reason for long haul travellers to choose to fly to KLIA, and Changi airport with its better facilities will be the main choice.

    The HSR will strengthen Changi and SIA position as the main go to airport and airline in south east asia.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 64 Thumb down 15
    • Ajib tai kor on Jan 04, 2021 at 1:34 pm

      Got Singapore, actually impossible to songlap LOL.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3
    • Lets See on Jan 04, 2021 at 1:44 pm

      If its cheaper to fly from klia than changi, it would be the other way round.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
      • Donno on Jan 04, 2021 at 2:35 pm

        Of course, why the new government wants the HSR to go through KLIA, unlike the original plan.

        Which is why Singapore strongly disagrees with the new plans.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 3
      • changi on Jan 04, 2021 at 2:39 pm

        There is much more airlines flying into Changi compared to those flying into KLIA.

        KLIA will be dead if HSR is completed to the original plans.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5
        • James on Jan 04, 2021 at 5:49 pm

          what is the logic of this? the HSR terminal in Singapore is not in Changi, it’s located in Jurong East.

          do you know how much time does it take to travel from Jurong to Changi airport?

          secondly, instead of fearing competition, why would nobody think of facing the challenge.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1
  • Jarren Loke on Jan 04, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    The KL and Sin HSR project are intended to benefit both countries and to promote better economic integration within ASEAN. This is not a 1+1 = 2 project. The success or failure of KLIA doesnt depend on HSR because there are already plan to connect Bandar station to KLIA. So lets not waste time spreading falsehood that Singapore is disagreeable to have HSR connect to KLIA.

    Singapore tourist are spending around RM26 billions in Malaysia per year. With HSR this figures can only go up, not down. And that does not include the potential foreign investment coming through Singapore.

    Without Singapore participation, there is no way Malaysia will be able to justify running a HSR line due to the low spending power and low population density. So lets not waste time indulging in the fallacy of KL-JB HSR.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 10
  • John Doe on Jan 04, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    Without HSR be prepared to face even tougher times now due to Covid. Until today the 2018 government still couldn’t propose a cheaper solution, instead they proposed to use back the same KTM while paying the same cost instead. Because of them, everything has been damaged beyond repair and had to be cancelled.

    Lesson learnt, when something sounds too good its normally FOS. Never trust someone who never managed the government before telling you they have a magic recipe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 10
  • A photo tells a million words.
    This tells us how much a wrong Finance Minister can destroy a nation perpetually.

    Anyone by just looking at the photos can imagine the wealth Singapore will bring to each state with the HSR, which is projected to double to RM25billion per annum.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5
  • Wow. Easy money by Singapore. Pity how ministers do their planning and manage a project. Losses not small sum.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • benard on Jan 04, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    running the same fast ETS trainsets that is now running from KL to gemas on the new doubletracked line to JB should be good enough and quick enough for most.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
    • Make Malaysia Great Again on Jan 05, 2021 at 12:38 pm

      ETS is not fast enough to entice shorthaul air travelers that prefers a shorter journey by planes instead. HSR would be the tipping point to persuade them to change. Alas….

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
      • dream_125 on Jan 06, 2021 at 11:08 pm

        With 8 stops over 350km only a HSR really doesn’t make much sense. HSR would make sense if there are no stops between SG and KL.

        German railways new trains are even slower than the old ones (250km/h instead of 320km/h), but with better acceleration.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • herewego on Jan 05, 2021 at 5:44 pm

      You probably don’t understand about the point of from KL travel to Singapore need cut shorter time for efficient travel experience then. The point of its existence is to cut short travel time. When you say ETS fast enough it’s bullshit, ETS only running at meter gauge (British colonial era standard) at max 140km/h which took another 3.5 hours to JB , and then another an hour plus or two to Singapore city center, that cost you tons of hassle at the border. HSR meant for you check in at KL CIQ , direct passthrough without another immigration check and take direct 90 minutes to Singapore non-stop and the waiting time is lesser than you take ETS and bus ! Moreover, HSR running at standard gauge which is much cheaper than meter gauge as meter gauge need customize a lot of stuff, which Malaysia kroni didn’t plan early 50 years !

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
      • Totally agree. Sadly that even other country such as Indonesia and thailand are the one moving forward. I see little hope for Malaysia. 100 years also same if the rakyat’s mentality is the same and such government exist to lead to country

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
        • Herewego on Jan 06, 2021 at 10:27 am

          FYI, Thailand with Bang Sue Grand Central Station purposely connected with at least 12 commuter line and a couple or four (two in the future) HSR line that brings Thailand people closer and connect to YunNan Province, China. Indonesia’s HSR project Bandung-Jakarta will be almost completed in next couple years to further drive economy of Indonesia faster, moreover, PT INKA & BPPT also got some technology transfer from China CRH400 series lesson to prepare to test their own prototype 250km/h variant HSR in a matter of years or two and they will have the capability to make their own HSR to export to other country. Meanwhile looking back at Malaysia , “MONEY, MONEY, MONEY” is what Malaysia government thinking now rather than long term profit of the nation. HSR for MY-SG are seriously an alternative option from the air route. According OAG report from March 2017- Feb 2018 , KL-SG is the world’s busiest route which have 30537 flights, if you can just take 50% of the passenger that will ease the burden a lot yet can compete with airlines, moreover HSR carries 900-1400 people in one time (depends on amount of train set), while a 737NG or A320 only carries 150+ passenger at one time and costing significant amount of money for fuel. Think about costing of electric and fuel for operation for future.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Loss RM300 mil to Singapore, country still ok. Imagine give RM 1 mil to each 32 milion of rakyat, for sure say cannot. Negara will go bankrupt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3
    • ccy7218 on Jan 04, 2021 at 3:41 pm

      Totally agreed… If give 1 mil each to 32 mil people only cost 32 mil and solve all the financial issue, I really not understand what they are planning…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8
      • benard on Jan 04, 2021 at 3:54 pm

        1 mil x 32 mil = 32 mil?

        no wonder singaporeans can easily deceive malaysians. even basic maths fail.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1
  • Herewego on Jan 06, 2021 at 11:00 am

    Cancellation of HSR is purely disappointed for almost everyone, be it foreign investors that eyeing for many years, commuters, travellers, those who doing business on both country , normal citizens, who want something that can ease their travel burden and shorten the time of waiting and travelling. What people don’t understand was we dont just look at the price, look at the value itself that can one day transform both country to compete with other ASEAN to set an example as the mega city of the ASEAN that can compete with the world. Building HSR is not like one year complete and give a bullshit excuse about due to COVID19 pandemic, the real reason is post-COVID19 travel, that many country heavily affected by the pandemic need a faster boost on economy for recovery, hence HSR existence is here, we need foreign investors, we need more workforce, businesses to boost both side’s economy faster, imagine this thing complete by 2027-2028 from 2021, it is post-COVID19 pandemic I bet, new normal new life, nation need a faster way to recover from valley, that can benefit SMEs, corporate, properties, travellers , you name it, even TOD development, restructuring the urban development, more jobs, more expertise in HSR development for Malaysia, more new field to discover, more local manufacturers to participate , in long run, EVERYONE BENEFITS ! Quality life rise, people afford to pay HSR ticket, rather than crying for no money and beg your mama for cash, no one wants this. The chain reaction like this will help HSR grow more ridership, ticket price lower, adding more service and rolling stock, even plan further on expanding to Thailand HSR ! IT’S A LONG TERM GAME !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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