The government is examining a new implementation model for the proposed Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke.
He said it includes a new financing model to determine whether any private parties are interested in covering the cost of the project, system management and the operation of the HSR.
“Malaysia, through MyHSR Corp, has issued an RFI (request for information) and a number of companies have expressed interest and have submitted paperwork; some have also requested more time to finalise their proposal.
“The bilateral agreement with Singapore was terminated during Pagoh time (when Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was the prime minister). Compensation has been given, so now we are free to determine a new direction.
“That’s why we want to find a suitable financing method,” he said when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2024 for his ministry at the Dewan Rakyat today.
He said this in response to an interjection from Muhyiddin (PN-Pagoh) who wanted to know the government’s future plans regarding the construction of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project.
He said any details of the proposed HSR financing model need to be scrutinised to ensure that it benefits Malaysia since most of the project’s tracks are located within the country.
Elaborating, Loke said once the RFI process is completed, the proposal for the construction of the HSR will be presented to the Cabinet for approval prior to discussing the matter with Singapore.
“Even though the initial agreement has been terminated, any decision still requires the approval of the neighbouring country, as the agreed-upon principle for the construction of the HSR is that it connects the two nations,” he said.
Meanwhile, responding to an interjection from Abdul Latiff Abdul Rahman (PN-Kuala Krai) on a viral message saying that vehicle owners who fail to comply with the regulations on the use of tinted windows will be jailed, Loke said the claim was untrue.
“I have confirmed with the JPJ (Road Transport Department) that vehicle owners who have committed such an offence have never been brought to court, let alone sentenced to prison.
“It is actually a basic regulation; any party that has been issued a compound and refuses to pay it can be brought to court and fined up to RM2,000 or sentenced to six months in jail,” he said.
In response to the suggestion by Khairil Nizam Khirudin (PN-Jerantut) on the use of weigh-in-motion cameras on the road to monitor lorry drivers carrying excessive loads, Loke said it is currently in the tendering process. — Bernama