Sunday, February 25

Loke: Implementation of HSR, LRT projects in Johor takes into account country’s financial situation

The implementation of public transport projects such as Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) in the state will take into account various factors, especially the country’s financial standing, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.

He said the government has no objection on supporting the development of public transport infrastructure in the state. However, it would be implemented in stages.

“…in terms of implementation, it is not that easy. It will take into account various factors, including financial consideration,” he told reporters after officiating the Johor DAP Convention 2023 here on Sunday.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, when tabling the Johor Budget 2024 on Nov 23, said he hoped that the HSR and LRT projects would be implemented soon, to complete the transport ecosystem, especially in making Johor a major investment destination in the region.

When asked about the latest development of the HSR project, Loke said the ministry was in the process of conducting a request for information (RFI) to look into proposals from the private sector for the implementation of the project.

“However, whether it can be implemented or not, the HSR funding method must be based on private financing. It is up to the private sector. So we are waiting for the proposal papers from the private sector,” said Loke.

MyHSR Corporation Sdn Bhd was previously reported as saying that the deadline for the submission of the RFI concept proposals for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project had been extended until Jan 15, 2024, from its original deadline of Nov 15, 2023.

On the LRT project, Loke said it required thorough planning and detailed considerations prior to its implementation.

“It includes the cost, the alignment, and other technical issues. The matter will be further discussed by the federal government and the state government,” he said.

In another development, Loke said Malaysians may soon be able to travel on the Shuttle Tebrau service between Johor Bahru and Woodlands in Singapore for a flat rate of RM5 per trip.

The current price for a one-way ticket from Johor Bahru to Woodlands is RM5, while the ticket from Woodlands to Johor Bahru costs S$5 (RM17.30).

“KTMB suggested to me yesterday, a structural adjustment for our Malaysian citizens. I welcome the suggestion and will bring the matter to Apad (the Land Public Transport Agency), and hopefully, it can be implemented beginning next year,” he said.

Loke said that although the shuttle service will cease operations once the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project is completed in 2027, the restructuring of the fare rate would still benefit Malaysians, especially those commuting daily from Johor to Singapore during the next three years. – Bernama

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