Anthony Loke: Unity govt open to reviving HSR project, but not with public funding

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Only if funded by private firms.

The Malaysian government is open to suggestions to revive the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project but only if it’s funded by private firms, Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook told a capital market conference today.

Miera Zulyana

“The prime minister gave me a very clear instruction…we have no problem implementing that project but it must be a private sector project,” he said in response to a question by the audience.

Malaysia and Singapore signed bilateral agreements for the 350km project in late 2016 which would have reduced travel time between Kuala Lumpur and the island republic to 90 minutes when completed in 2026.

The HSR was among several of the mega infrastructure projects that the first Pakatan Harapan administration reviewed and eventually axed. Loke was also the transport minister at the time.

As then opposition leader, Anwar had criticised the negotiations behind the project although he said he was principally supportive of the idea.

He was also critical of the move to cancel it, which forced Putrajaya to pay Singapore RM320 million in compensation. – MMO