Najib, Lee reiterate high-speed rail link to complete by 2020

Najib, Lee reiterate high-speed rail link to complete by 2020
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia and Singapore prime ministers have reiterated that the proposed High-Speed Rail Link between the republic and Kuala Lumpur will be completed as scheduled in 2020.

Speaking to reporters today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said both governments were mindful of the fact that the project was ambitious and both governments were working hard towards meeting the deadline.

He said the proposed project would enhance the cross-border connectivity between both countries.
"I think it is too early for us to revise the timeline at this stage. We wanted it to be an ambitious target, so that we will be very focussed and both governments will be directed towards the target date of 2020," he said.

Najib said the first phase of the joint engineering study to develop possible alignment for the project and the proposal for the proposed Rail Transit System (RTS) connecting Singapore and Johor Baru was completed.
"It will soon come a time for us to decide on the best option. We have 27 possible options to make RTS the most efficient and effective transport system that will benefit both nations," he added.
He said Malaysia would be making the decision fairly soon on the RTS location in Johor Baru.

Najib and his counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, attended a closed-door delegation meeting prior to the press conference.

Lee said the officials of both countries had to work in a very focussed way in order to get the proposed High-Speed Rail Link project done.

"2020 is a good target to work for. It will be challenging to achieve but I don't think we should relax the constraints yet," he said.

Lee was in Malaysia for a two-day annual Leader's Retreat. He arrived yesterday, accompanied by his wife Ho Ching, and Singapore' senior officials.

Najib said the end-point for High-Speed Rail link in Malaysia is at Bandar Malaysia, where the current Air Force base is located.

As for Singapore, Lee said, there would be three possibilities for the end-point of the rail link in Singapore namely Tuas West, Jurong East and the City.

"I shared some of the considerations and the possibilities to the Malaysian prime minister. This is something that we are working on and we will decide this year or so," he said.

Meanwhile, in a joint statement issued after the Malaysia-Singapore Leaders' Retreat, both prime ministers urged the High-Speed Rail Work Group to work diligently towards fulfilling its mandate by 2020.

The fifth retreat, held here, is a platform for both leaders to take stock of bilateral cooperation between both countries.

The last meeting took place in Singapore in February last year, which saw them agreeing on a high-speed rail link between the republic and Kuala Lumpur, which would significantly cut travel time between both countries to just 90 minutes.