The negotiation to establish a high speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore has been revived, said Minister in Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri.
The talk was initially planned to start from October but it has been delayed to December instead. The talk serves as a negotiation platform to solve legal and technical issues in building the high speed rail link.
Final detail on the track alignment as well as other technical specifications are still pending mutual agreement from both Malaysian and Singaporean side.
The project is targeted to be completed by 2020 with cost of about RM 40 bil.
The Japanese Prime Minister suggested the use of Shinkansen technology in building high speed rail link between Singapore and KL during their recent meetup session, as reported by The Straits Times Asia.
Constructing high speed rail service is not easy. The government alone cannot produce a project of this magnitude without affecting other aspects of country expenditure. Therefore, initiatives and partnerships from private firms is highly encouraged to take place. Government-linked Companies (GLCs) should also move their investment arms and turn this project into a successful venture.
The establishment of high speed rail link is expected to have some degree of negative impact towards KTM Intercity service. One source said that KL – Singapore is the most profitable route for KTM Intercity. Therefore, if the rail link is established, KTM Intercity revenue might be jeopardized.
Given the fact that the fares of KTM Intercity is tightly controlled by the government, we do hope that the government does not ‘cannibalize’ its KTM Intercity service. KTM Intercity has lots of room for improvement and it is sad knowing that the government is not doing enough to propel KTM Berhad to a greater height.
We hope that KTM Berhad will have some sort of control over the proposed high speed rail link. Its current business model might be improved in order for them to carry out their business in a more logical and rational basis.