JOHOR BAHRU: The Johor government fully supports the federal government’s decision to scrap the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, said Chief Minister Osman Sapian on Sunday (Jun 3).
Osman added that the federal government's decision to scrap the project was appropriate and in line with Pakatan Harapan’s approach not to burden the country with expensive mega-projects and, at the same time, try to reduce the national debt.
"The project (HSR), if implemented, will only be completed and be operational by Dec 31, 2026, which is about nine years from now,” he said.
“The project will take too long to see the returns, let alone the profits. Other costs like for maintenance have not been taken into account. Investing in a project worth RM110 billion is very high while the returns are low.”
Osman added that the state government was committed to bringing development to central and northern Johor via a mode of transport network which was cheaper, modern and took into account cost-effectiveness.
He said what was most important was the service offered will be enjoyed by people from all walks of life, and that the project did not burden Malaysia’s finances.
On May 28, Dr Mahathir confirmed that Malaysia would be scrapping the HSR project. The project, which would have connected Kuala Lumpur to Singapore with a travelling time of 90 minutes, was scheduled for completion in 2026.
With regard to the RM500 million in compensation which Malaysia may have to pay Singapore for aborting the project, Osman said it was better for the government to bear such short-term losses than to bear the debt burden of more than RM100 billion.