Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart, Najib Razak, are set to meet today (19 July) in Putrajaya to witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction of the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail (HSR) project.
The agreement will be signed by the city-state’s Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan, while Malaysia will be represented by Dato’ Abdul Rahman Dahlan, the Minister in charge of Malaysia’s Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and the Housing Ministry.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office Singapore, “the signing of the MOU is a significant milestone and testament to our close bilateral cooperation (with Malaysia)”.
This is an important infrastructure project for both governments, and their commitment to undertake this massive development is a reflection of the efforts to continuously improve their strong relationship, the statement said.
The Straits Times reported that the Malaysian portion of the proposed 350km rail line will start at Bandar Malaysia, which is around 3km from Kuala Lumpur’s central business district.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s terminal will be located at Jurong East, which will form part of the Jurong Lake District, the city-state’s second financial district.
Last week, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) launched a Request for Proposal (RFP), inviting multi-disciplinary teams to submit master plan proposals for the area.
Over the weekend, Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told The Star that the HSR project’s tender is expected to commence “within a year’s time”.
Once it is operational, the travel time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur will be reduced to just 1.5 hours from four hours by car.
“When completed, the HSR will boost connectivity, strengthen economic ties and forge closer people-to-people linkages,” added the Prime Minister’s Office.