High-speed rail from KL to Johor? Nonsense, says ex-transport minister
Friday, 01 Jan 2021 05:57 PM MYT
BY SYED JAYMAL ZAHIID
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1 — Former transport minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook decried the government’s suggestion of a “domestic high-speed rail” project as “nonsensical”, saying it should not be entertained.
The criticism followed Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed’s statement earlier today indicating the possibility of replacing the terminated KL-Singapore HSR project with a local high-speed rail line.
Loke had asked if the proposed domestic HSR entails a rail line from KL to Johor Baru.
The DAP politician said the idea would be redundant since there is already a project that would link Johor’s capital city to KL via the Gemas electronic train system line, which spans all the way to Padang Besar, Perlis, in the north.
“Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed had said the government may continue the HSR domestically by not connecting to Singapore. If by domestic, he meant a route to connect Johor Baru to KL then it’s nonsensical,” Loke said in a Facebook post.
“Because the KL-JB route already has an existing train line. The current project undertaken is the double rail line between Gemas to Johor Baru,” he noted.
The Gemas ETS project, at a cost of RM10 billion, is expected to be ready next year.
Malaysia and Singapore issued separate statements to announce the automatic termination of the KL HSR Bilateral Agreement this morning.
Loke had asked the government to be transparent about the compensation paid to Singapore.
“During Pakatan Harapan’s era, all costs paid to Singapore following the project’s delay were openly declared,” he said.
“The Perikatan Nasional administration shouldn’t hide such information.”