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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        8  March 2011

High-speed KL-Singapore rail to be studied

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The Malaysian government is undertaking feasibility studies on a high-speed rail connecting Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

Public Land Transport Commission (SPAD) chief development officer Azmi Abdul Aziz said that the feasibility studies would take about eight weeks to complete.

“We have done some comparisons with other similar high-speed rail links around the world such as the Paris-Brussels link and it is feasible to connect Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, spanning around 400km,” he said.

“The high-speed rail is expected to have a positive impact on the country's tourism industry, have a time-saving factor and further unlock the property values in Kuala Lumpur.

“But, although it is feasible, we still have a lot of further considerations to look at such as the impact on other parallel transportation as well as the demand and supply.

“Besides the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore link, SPAD is also looking at other high-speed rail proposals involving Kuala Lumpur-Penang-Bangkok,” Azmi said in his presentation at the Greater KL: smart city of the future conference yesterday. The conference was organised by Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute and IBM.

Federal Territories and Urban Well Being Minister Senator Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said the second of four dimensions that governed Greater KL or the Klang Valley aspirations was to improve intra and inter-city links.

“Regional connectivity will be accelerated by deploying a high-speed train system to connect Greater KL and Singapore.

“At the same time, intra-city connectivity will be improved by the mass rapid transit (MRT) system,” he said in his closing keynote address at the conference.

SPAD is currently busy as the supervising agency for the roll out of the country's first MRT system, the construction of which is expected to start in July.

The MRT was a subject of debate at the conference, touching on issues pertaining to station location as well as its integration with other modes of transport.

Mag Technical and Development Consultants Sdn Bhd director Goh Bok Yen, in commenting on the announcement of the first MRT line, said the public must be given the overall picture of the MRT (which is proposed to have three lines) to receive valuable feedback.

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