This afternoon, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the High-Speed Railway project that will link Singapore and Malaysia was signed by representatives from the two neighbouring countries. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Singapore Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak.
The ceremony was held at PM Najib official residence at Sri Perdana, Putrajaya after the two Prime Ministers had a private session lunch.
Singapore Transport Minister and Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure Khaw Boon Wan along with Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Abdul Rahman Dahlan signed the agreement.
PM Lee was accompanied by his wife, Ms Ho Ching, Mr Khaw, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. The delegation also includes officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Communications and Information, Land Transport Authority and Attorney-General’s Chambers.
PM Lee and PM Najib billed the plan as a "game-changer" project after their annual leaders' retreat in 2013. PM Lee office said in the statement on Monday that the signing “is a significant milestone and testament to our close bilateral cooperation”.
PM Najib posted in his Facebook on Monday evening, saying that the HSR will enhance people-to-people ties and improve business linkages. “In today’s fast-moving world, fortune favours the quick. We have decided to take it a step further in terms of connectivity between our peoples with the signing of the MOU for the HSR linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore,” he wrote.
“Once completed, Malaysians will be able to have nasi lemak in Kuala Lumpur, close deals over chili crab in Singapore and be back for a dinner of rendang with the family,” he added.
The 350 km-long HSR line will cut off the travel time from Malaysia to Singapore from 4 hours drive to just 90 minutes in a train travel. It will travel at a top speed of 300km/hour.
The terminus in Malaysia will be at Bandar Malaysia, while the one in Singapore will be at Jurong East. And Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri and Putrajaya were said to be the transit stops.
Besides the non-stop Singapore-KL express service and the domestic service within Malaysia, shuttle service between Singapore and Iskandar Puteri in Johor will be available.
To reduce hassle, passengers will be able to clear customs, immigration and quarantine for both countries at their point of departure. Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities will be located by both governments at three locations, Singapore, Iskandar Puteri and Kuala Lumpur.
It is targeted to be up and running by around 2026.