Build Kuala Lumpur - Singapore High Speed Rail and Mass Rapid Transit Line 3
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Kuala Lumpur - Singapore High Speed Rail will begin its construction this year (2018). Once completed, the railway line will serve Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Seremban, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat, Iskandar Puteri and Singapore. The railway line will cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore from 11 hours with existing train services to 90 minutes door-to-door.
The project should be continued because:
- Singapore-Kuala Lumpur air-route is the busiest international route in the world, with 30,537 flights between both cities in 2017 (second place was Hong Kong-Taipei, at 28,887 flights).
- Railway line will stimulate economic development along the railway corridors and around the stations, creating jobs and business opportunities (7 out of 8 stations are in Malaysia).
- The railway pays for itself. Land value capture will pay for the railway, as relatively small cities like Muar and Batu Pahat are now just 3, 4 stations away from both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
- There was no solid reason behind the cancellation, apart from a vague 'too costly' argument which is unacceptable given that among other things, economic viability is part of the feasibility studies and we are already near the start of the construction phase. Also, the assets company and operator company will be appointed through open international tender.
- The government quoted 110 billion ringgit cost as a reason why the project will be scraped, but the range forecasted by governments of Singapore and Malaysia earlier this year was 50 to 60 billion ringgit.
- The cancellation will cost an unnecessary sum of money, and it will cost more to restart the construction of the same railway in the future.
The Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (also known as Circle Line) is the final line of a 3-line mass transit project. The Circle Line will run around the periphery of Kuala Lumpur city centre, connecting with existing public transit stations to allow a seamless travel experience in Greater Kuala Lumpur. This project has also been tendered and soon will begin construction. Similar to the cancellation of the high speed rail project, the decision was not discussed in the parliament and no solid reason apart from a sweeping 'too costly' was given (which is again unacceptable as we are way past feasibility studies stage and substantial works had been done to ensure the financial viability of the project through the various stages of design).
I hope the government will review the decision to scrap Kuala Lumpur - Singapore High Speed Rail and the Mass Rapid Transit Line 3.
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