KL-Singapore high-speed rail may miss 2020 deadline

The multi-billion ringgit high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore is expected to miss its 2020 deadline by two years, Singapore's Business Times reported today.

Citing unnamed sources, the business paper said 2022 may be a more realistic deadline as there were many unresolved issues in the mammoth project, which is estimated to cost nearly RM40 billion.

"This (the delay) is not necessarily a bad thing. It's a huge project. More time is needed to sort some aspects out so that it can take off smoothly," a source close to the project was quoted as saying by The Business Times.

It added that the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the project may be awarded on a negotiated basis, but said this had yet to be confirmed.

In 2013, Singapore and Malaysia agreed to build a high-speed train track by 2020 which would reduce the travel time on land between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to just 90 minutes compared with up to eight hours now.

The construction of the high-speed rail link is expected to start in 2016, with the Cabinet approving the project and the establishment of MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd – a Finance Ministry unit tasked with undertaking the project – just last week.

Seven stations have been identified: Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Nusajaya.

The project is one of the entry point projects listed under the Economic Transformation Programme which states that it is "aimed at improving the economic dynamism of Malaysia’s capital city and liveability ranking relative to other global cities".

Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Japan was keen to be involved in the project, and that he had heard China had also expressed interest. – April 27, 2015.

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/kl-singapore-high-speed-rail-may-miss-2020-deadline-says-report#sthash.eem64sx4.dpuf
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