The Star: High speed rail MoU between Malaysia and Singapore inked

PETALING JAYA: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Governments of Malaysia and Singapore on the High-Speed Rail (HSR) linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore has been signed.

In a joint statement issued by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Tuesday, it was announced that the Mou was signed between Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan and his counterpart Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan.

The agreement stated that there would be eight HSR stations between Bandar Malaysia and Singapore. The six intermediate stations will be located at Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri.

“All stations will be designed to integrate with the local public transport systems to ensure seamless connectivity.”

It said that the HSR trains would run at a top speed of more than 300km/h.

“Both Governments agreed to work towards commencing HSR operations by around 2026,” it said

The signing of the document was also witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The statement also said that the MoU “captures” key points of agreement on the project, including the technical parameters, commercial model, customs, immigration & quarantine (CIQ) clearance, safety & security matters, regulatory framework, as well as project management.

“The MoU will guide the development of a legally-binding bilateral agreement to be signed by both Governments towards the end of this year.”

Both Malaysia and Singapore had also agreed to take responsibility for developing, constructing and maintaining the civil infrastructure and stations within their own countries, which will be undertaken by MyHSR Corporation and LTA (as InfraCos) in Malaysia and Singapore respectively.

“Through international tenders, an assets company (AssetsCo) will be appointed to provide and maintain the HSR trains and its associated systems (e.g. track, power, signalling and telecommunications), while two train operating companies (OpCos) will be appointed to operate the HSR services.”

“It also reiterates the Governments’ commitment to ensure that all project tenders are conducted in an open, fair and transparent manner, so as to encourage participation from technology and service providers worldwide,” it said.

Meanwhile, OpCo International will be in charge of operating cross-border services while OpCo Domestic will operate the Domestic Service within Malaysia.

A Bilateral Committee comprising representatives from both Governments was also agreed in order to manage and regulate aspects of the project that might impact the cross-border services..

The HSR is expected to cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to 90 minutes.

The Star – 19 July 2016