KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday (Oct 17) unveiled the concept designs for the seven new stations along the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) in Malaysia.
He said the designs are a strong reflection of Malaysia's identity and heritage, while remaining modern and futuristic.
For instance, the design of the Bandar Malaysia terminus in Kuala Lumpur is a re-interpretation of the confluence of Klang and Gombak rivers.
For the Bangi-Putrajaya station located at the border of Selangor and Putrajaya, Mr Najib said the design embraces the influence of majestic yet intricate details of Islamic architecture.
“As we get into Malacca, inspiration is drawn from Malacca’s history as a strategic trading port in its heyday. Thus the Malacca station design was drawn from the image of merchant ship, symbolising the entrepreneurship spirit of the local communities," Mr Najib said.
He added: “Moving down south to the state of Johor, the richest elements of Malay culture are reflected here with the Muar station inspired by the 'rehal', traditionally used for placing the Quran as students learn to recite it."
Mr Najib said that extensive research and substantial efforts have been put into the designs for each of the seven HSR stations in Malaysia.
“I have personally been involved in ensuring that every station design retains strong reflections of Malaysia’s identity and heritage whilst remaining modern and futuristic,” the Prime Minister said in his speech.
The HSR connects the cities of Kuala Lumpur, Bangi and Putrajaya, Seremban, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat, Iskandar Puteri and Singapore.
The project has been described as a "game-changer" for Malaysia and Singapore, slashing travel time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to 90 minutes by train.
HSR "NEVER JUST A TRANSPORTATION PROJECT": NAJIB
Mr Najib said the land acquisition process for the construction of KL-Singapore HSR project will start on Nov 1, the same day as the public inspection exercise to gather feedback from the public on the project.
Members of the public will then have three months to express concerns and feedback on before the areas are finalised for actual acquisition in the middle of 2018.
"(In) the land freezing process, we will look at 500m wide areas along the tracks from Bandar Malaysia all the way to Iskandar Puteri in Johor. The land will be narrowed down to 50m when it is finalised," said chief executive for MyHSR Corp Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal,
Mr Najib added the HSR stations demonstrated the government's commitment to an advanced, innovative and integrated development of the surrounding areas.
“From the beginning, the KL-Singapore HSR was never just a transportation project. It was by and large a project focused on providing significant and endless possibilities for the nation as a whole,” he said.
The KL-Singapore HSR is slated to be operational by end-2026.
Additional reporting by Melissa Goh