Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Singapore in 90 minutes by rail – positive for the economy and property prices

The possible policy responses to current economic downturn in Malaysia are actually quite limited. Private consumption has turned negative and is unlikely to recover as consumer confidence is weak and the consumer debt to GDP ratio of over 60% in Malaysia is already high by Asian standards. Export growth is likely to remain weak (exports down 30% y-o-y in May 2009) as long as highly leveraged US consumers continue to deleverage which could last over a decade if the Japanese experience is repeated. The only real solution is fiscal spending and private investment; on this front, we have to choose projects wisely especially as our budget deficit to GDP to also among the highest in Asia.

Japan undertook a series of unsuccessful fiscal stimulus to boost its economy which raised government debt to GDP from 60% in 1990 to 180% in 2008. In Japan, building bridges to nowhere has not generated long-term economic benefits but has instead burdened future generations. In Malaysia, building a double tracking railway from Ipoh to the Thai border for RM12bn can never generate as much economic benefits as a high speed rail (HSR) from KL to Singapore for around the same price tag.

Malaysia appears to be far behind in HSR development. China has completed six high speed rail projects with design speeds of up to 250km/h and in July 2008, it completed the 108km Beijing to Tianjin HSR with a design speed of 350km/h. This would be equivalent to travelling from KL to the Malacca border in 30 minutes. The 1302km Beijing to Shanghai HSR will be ready next year and will reduce travelling time by rail from 10 hours to 5 hours. In total China is planning 25 HSR lines between now and 2013!

China’s HSR network of 6,000km by 2013 will exceed Japan’s current HSR network of 2459km. Japan, famous for its Shinkansen bullet trains, was the first country to introduce HSR in 1964 starting with speeds of 210km/h for service between Tokyo and Osaka. The French TGV (Train à Grande Vitess) is the fastest conventional train in the world with an experimental speed of 574.8km/h while the Japanese JR-Maglev, which floats on magnetic fields, achieved 581km/h. France, with an HSR network of 1700km, has the most extensive HSR network among European countries followed by the UK (1400km), Germany (1290km) and Spain (1272km). Even the US is jumping on the HSR bandwagon with Obama unveiling plans for 10 potential high speed intercity corridors.

Other Asian countries that have successfully built HSR include South Korea and Taiwan. Interestingly, the 335.5km Taiwan HSR from Taipei to Kaohsiung is approximately similar in distance from KL to Singapore. I personally had the pleasure of riding the train recently. It was possible to buy tickets and board the train 10 minutes before departure. The train ride was very smooth and the speedometer on the train showed train speeds of close to 300km/h. The train reached Kaohsiung in the south of Taiwan from Taipei in the north in just 90 minutes after a stop in the central city of Taichung. As in Taiwan, the HSR in Malaysia could have direct services from KL to Singapore and also services that cover KLIA, Malacca and Johor. Malacca’s tourist potential will be enhanced while Iskandar’s viability will be improved by fast and efficient connectivity which will alleviate a shortage of manpower there.

The positive economic impact from the HSR from KL to Singapore would be tremendous. It would anchor KLIA-LCCT-Changi as the top airline hub in SE Asia where foreign and domestic passengers will have a choice of full service or budget airlines. Unlike Taiwan, which only have slightly more than 4m visitors a year, Malaysia and Singapore together have over 30m visitors a year. Therefore, the HSR may attract additional visitors to the KL-Singapore hub due to the clustering effect. Furthermore, it would boost the number of Singaporean and foreign visitors (from Singapore) visiting Johor, Malacca and Kuala Lumpur. Airline frequency between KL and Singapore may decline but airlines could generate additional traffic from the cementing of KL-Singapore as the premier transportation hub of the region.

Property prices in Kuala Lumpur should also benefit from greater demand from Singaporeans and foreigners who are attracted by the improved accessibility of KL. This would help generate demand for the large supply of condominiums in KL. With better accessibility, foreign companies may be attracted to place their operations in KL or Iskandar where operating costs are lower. The better accessibility would also make it easier to attract talent to work in KL or Iskandar. For example, the Taiwan HSR has allowed white collar workers easy access to Hsin Chu (Taiwan’s Silicon Valley) from all major cities in Taipei. Increased tourist arrivals and business activities will also boost the sagging rental market arising from lower occupancy rates. Singapore will also benefit from greater accessibility for its integrated resorts and higher tourist arrivals, both from Malaysia and overseas.

The high-speed Eurostar train link from London to Paris in just 2.5 hours has helped narrow the discount of Parisian property prices to London property prices. The ease of getting to Paris from London has encouraged the British to consider second homes in Paris and have even encouraged some British workers to consider Paris as a permanent base. Likewise, the KL-Singapore HSR could boost KL property prices and promote greater economic integration between Malaysia and Singapore as a catalyst for ASEAN integration. The differential between KL and Singapore property prices remains large with high-end condos in Malaysia going for around RM1,000 psf while high-end Singapore condos are at least 5 times more expensive at over S$2,000 psf.

Based on an estimated built up area of 1.8bn sq ft in the Klang Valley, property values could be boosted by a massive RM180bn if property values rise by RM100psf and the gain could rise to RM360bn if property prices appreciate by RM200psf. This excludes the potential gains for Johor and Malacca property. Prices of property in Taiwan and HK have risen due to Chinese demand and the yields of high end residential and commercial property in Taipei is only slightly over 2% (compared to rental yields of 6-7% in Malaysia) due to good demand and low interest rates. Greater demand for properties arising from the KL-Singapore HSR and lower Malaysian interest rates would help improve property prices in the Klang Valley. The positive wealth effect is an important ingredient for better consumer confidence, especially so as residential property accounts for around 80% of property stock in the Klang Valley. Of course, besides the HSR, other factors like better connectivity within Klang Valley, an investment friendly climate and a stable and safe environment are also important factors.

As Malaysia and Singapore squabble over long standing issues, Asian giants like China and India are increasing dominating the economic field. Hence, there is a greater urgency for Malaysia and Singapore to work together to carve out a niche (while it still exists) as the indisputable destination for investments, tourism, services and selected manufacturing in the ASEAN region. Hopefully the pain of deep recessions will numb the pride of both countries and enable closer economic integration that will benefit the people of both countries and promote better understanding.

Since the energy consumption per person using a train is less than those for cars and planes, the HSR will lead to lower carbon dioxide production, which contributes towards global warming. For example, the Taiwan HSR is estimated to produce a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions per individual compared to that for a regular four-wheeled vehicle. The KL-Singapore HSR will reduce the number of cars and planes plying between KL and Singapore. Greater use of trains will also reduce road accidents and improve productive time as passengers can comfortably carry on work their work or reading on a train.

Should the Malaysia and Singapore governments decide to carry on with the HSR, it is important for the project to be implemented by a group that can build the HSR within the stipulated cost and as quickly as possible. We cannot afford another Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) where massive cost overruns and accusations of misdemeanors in a privatized project have burdened taxpayers without any tangible economic benefits. The Taiwan HSL was plagued with delays and severe cost overruns. The final cost at a staggering US$15bn (RM55bn) equates to a cost of US$45m per km compared to US$27m per km in Korea and only US$12m for the Express rail link (ERL) to KLIA which was built by a YTL-led consortium. The YTL Group, backed by its ERL experience and strong financial resources, remains keen on the KL-Singapore HSR project. YTL Group is also believed to have a good relationship with the Singapore government as evidenced by its investments in Singapore property and power plants.

As a Malaysian consumer, I am very keen on being given the choice to travel on HSR to Singapore even if it costs more than a bus fare. As a taxpayer, I am keen on taxpayers money being spent on infrastructure projects that generate economic returns. It is no rocket science to know that a mainly private funded KL-Singapore HSR will generate more economic benefit than a government funded RM12bn double tracking railway from Ipoh to the Thai border. Economically viable private sector funded investments should be encouraged at a time when government finances are tight. As a property owner KL, I am keen to see better property prices and KL becoming a vibrant international city with excellent connectivity. What do you think? Please vote or express your views on the blog by clicking on comments below.


  1. Just from an environmental standpoint, the HSR is a great idea for any high volume routes over land. A train journey would emit about 80% less CO2 than a flight, and about half the CO2 of a 1.8 litre car carrying three people. I don’t think there is any more time to deliberate further on this. Whoever builds, own or operates it does not matter anymore. The important thing is to step into the future boldly with a sustainable mode of transport, and to do it now.

  2. As someone who fears flying, I've confined my mode of travel to Singapore strictly to buses only. Unfortunately, this leaves me with uncomfortable experience of undergoing the five hour journey. But fears of flying aside, the notion of the HSR is great. If the departing station is located centrally in KL & Singapore, travel time can be cut considerably, perhaps it will be even faster than flying (especially if you factor in the distance of the airports from central KL, traffic jams, check-ins etc). We'll just have to see how much it'll cost. In my case, I'm more than willing to pay a slight premium and have a peace of mind during my travel.

  3. I think it is a great idea ! Imagine travelling from KL Sentral to Tanjung Pagar in Singapore in 90 min... I would stop taking flights down straight away. It would be a fantastic alternative to our really unsafe and lousy express bus services as long as the premium for travel is not excessive.

  4. Good article, and good points to encourage the building of the HSR from an economic perspective.
    By all logical reasons, the HSR should have been built many years ago.

    Unfortunately, the reasons needed to push this forward is more politcal than economical. YTL has already expressed that they can fully fund and take on the risk of this project without any government help - showing a really strong will from a private company that this is really a good idea. It practically means zero risk for the government and tax payers, who can only benefit from this.

    Why the govt still hasn't said 'yes'? Monopoly of the lucrative KUL-SIN MAS-SIA route is a good reason. With probably 120 mins door-to-door travel time, no one would want to use the plane anymore, just like how no one needs to fly to Ipoh since the availability of the N-S Expressway.

    The kiasu-ism fear as usual of a govt that there's more lose to Singapore with the exposure of easy and relatively cheap travel to SIN.

    As Singapore transforms itself to the next level in a country's development -- to a service-based, modern and cultural hub -- the above may be true.

    As a consumer, I've been waiting patiently without much hope that the HSR will happen since 20 years already. There would have been a glimmer of hope during the Mahathir years, and mayben some during this thawing time with Najib-Hsien Loong.

    Maybe... just maybe... both of them might see the light (I suspect LHL want to, it is just us).

  5. I travel to Singapore at least once a month, and travelling by means of air transportation is not only costly, but not a very enjoyable experience - the early check-ins, boarding etc etc are inefficient and a waste of precious time. I'd prefer travelling by bus, but sometimes the journey can take more than 5 hrs.

    I recall travelling on the Eurostar Train from London to Paris almost 10 years ago. I was so impressed with the speed and the smooth journey. I can't quite comprehend why a HSR service cannot be built between M'sia and Singapore - our country has been lagging behind in infrastructure for too long. Not forgetting to mention our horrid public transportation system, which if I recall correctly from a poll in thestar where no one would actually bother with our public transport even if the govt. poured billions of dollars improving it. It's no surprise that due to our crap infrastructure that people of my age group are deciding to migrate to countries overseas. It's really sad actually; we're losing our skilled people to other countries - and I believe one of the factors contributing to them is due to our public infrastructure system.

    I hope by my voicing of opinion (and others as well) it could possibly help generate enough interest for the government to notice and to give some form of go ahead? Kudos to Choong Khuat Hock for bringing this up in an article.

  6. Just wondering..sincerely who will benefit most? Taxpayer or the proposer? Read the article on tpe - khh cost overrun? It will not be a smooth run as pax have to stop at JB and woodland for FIQ? Or this route will go under tunnel of tebrau or using the existing causeway? If we use the causeway will the chance to allow free flow of water at straits of tebrau will deminised forever? will Singapore govt allowed to go direct to changi or tanjung pagar? Anyway to post this article over and over on the prime newspaper invites hidden agenda...I wonder.

  7. Whatever it is, I don't see a harm if it's a fully funded private project. Even it is cost overrun, it's the risk for the proposer and not taxpayer. No doubt, taxpayers like us will benefit the most as the HSR will serves as an alternative to current mode of transport to SG. If the price is not justifiable, we can always go back to flight or even express bus. The choice is ours.

  8. Agree that KL to SG route has political hurdles. Would prefer KL to PG route. That will leave SG out of the benefit equation. I believe KL to PG route will ultimately benefit Malaysians more

  9. Though the writer wrote compelling reasons for the HSR, it all boils-down to pure economics and whether "critical-mass" exists for the HSR to be viable, domestic or int'l politics aside. I have travelled on all the HSR mentioned and my firm belief is that the project will "get-off-the-ground" when the grand-plan of Singapore-Kunming rail-link is firmed. With that, more potential rail operators will see the spin-off not just on the KUL-SIN vice-versa sector but overall across the countries where the Kunming link passes.

    Of course, not forgeting that when that (grand) plan takes off, not just the passenger travel attracts attention but also those cargo and port operators, who sees the hugh potential of pulling cargo eg from the ports in Singapore/Port Klang to hinterland of Indo-China eg Kunming or Vietnam and bring-out Kunming's (Vietnam) produce eg vegetables, etc more economically to the Singapore / Malaysia markets.

    I'm approaching 50 soon and likes rail travel and keeping my fingers crossed that this will take place during my life-time. Anyway I have set my sight to travel on the Trans-Siberian railway (some day soon)

  10. the 1st time i read abt CHONG's writing yrs ago, i quickly identified him as 1 of the best analyst. No surprised when i knew he has won the title of best analyst for 5 consectuive times. IF ksc is hiring, i m very keen

  11. From 1994 to 2002 I lived in Malaysia. Right away what you realise as expat are the missing public transport facilities. In those days the most common public transport in Malaysia was the smelly mini bus. Yes I remember those! Not that I used them but what I want to say is that things have developed as well in Malaysia to the better. However, going from one big city to another big city of relevance is very cumbersome in Malaysia but at great ease in Germany where I now stay again. Big cities in Germany are interlinked by high speed trains having good chairs, tables and internet connection available on board. Hence, it is very easy to do work and business when taking a train. Gain of productivity is essential to all economies especially in the difficult times. Going from KL to Singapore is currently consuming too much time. All business and work has to stop while commuting to the far away airport and taking the flight itself. Door to door we are loosing a tremendous amount of time for the travel.
    There are many reasons why I and all others should support the HSR. Many have been mentioned by the writer of the above article and commented well by others. The rail link KL Singapore will be a new lifeline for Malaysia to increase the significance of KL in international public transport and with that supporting the ailing economy.
    With that I hope for the best for Malaysia and that will be a high speed train link to Singapore and eventually to Penang.

    Reimund Nienaber
    Munich, Germany


  12. When I travelled from Budapest to Prague, it was very fast as my passport was checked in the train. I hope that the passport check from KL to Singapore will also be done on the train to serve long immigration queues.

  13. Hi!

    This has been going on for the past 5 years.
    I would say Yes!
    It would definitely be a great idea to have KL- SG in under 2 hours (preferably under 60 mins).

    My reasons:

    1) Decreased fuel consumption since electricity is used instead of diesel/ petrol

    2) Less congested airport at Singapore

    3) More tourist to this side of ASEAN

    4) Decreased traveling hours means less time spent wastefully on business trips.

    5) Increased brain power transfer between Sg and M'sia

    6) Decrease traffic on N/S Express Way

    7) Less road accidents

    8) Easier during Chinese New Year / Christmas period to do shopping and go back home.

  14. Let's just hope our power that be realized the tremendous benefits of this direct HSR link between Spore and Kuala Lumpur.With this project on,the profile on our two countries would have untold and unlimited benefits..just like the Euro Channel link between London and Paris.Why can't our two goverments sit down together and plan something that benefit citizens from both countries??

    Anyway,I sincerely hope the combined leaderships of both the Najib Govt and Hsien Loong Govt will have the foresight and vision to do something that is so obviously beneficial to all.

  15. Seriously, I can't tell or find any negative outcomes on this great idea. Those who scrapped the idea in the first place are really short-sighted. Please think of the long term and chain effect economic value return.

  16. I do support the HSR project, provided this is really a project that is carried out with transparencies and integrated with existing urban tranport infrastructures in KL. It should starts in KL Sentral with full connectivity to anywhere in KL. We could opt for limited but critical stops in KLIA/LCCT, Malacca, and JB in between. One day, once this is proven working, an option that connects up North to Penang will really be a great project that will really transforms our country's train network. We have the railway since the early of colony time, and decades past by and there is little improvement to our KTM service.
    I have travelled on UK's train service in the student days. Although the service (or the network infrastructure) has a lot of room to improve, which I believe is due to underfunding from the state. It takes strong goverment backing to have a world class rail network (and then to maintain and run it efficiently). Rail travel is great as it connects to every part (almost) of the country.

    I took the Eurostar from London to Paris and it;s an efficient of way of travelling between the two cities. Eurostar is still having problems to recoup the investments after many years though. So, again, goverment backing is a must for such project.

    In recent years, I have numerous business trip in Germany and again I travelled a lot using the ICE trains. No complaints on the travel. Occasional delays aside, the service is efficient and get me to the major cities that I can connect to smaller towns through local train services. It's quite economy as well if you book early. I preffered the ICE on the Stuggart-Frankfurt Airport routes rather than taking a connecting flights.

    All in all, I believe we should invest in the future that will transform Malaysia to the next level. We need to connect the major economy centers of Malaysia, and together with Singapore, we can competes better in the international stage. Again, i strongly believe that this project can only be viable with strong goverment backing, so that the train fares is competitive and enough commuters can take advantage of the service. Else, we will end up with a company with huge losses and tax payers have to pay even more for the rescue later on,... i really hope we learnt our lessons from all the failed projects. ..

  17. I would like to see PEN-KL-SIN HSR, JB-SIN can be linked with LRT or MRT.

  18. It's safer and save time. Conventional train is very outdated and not comfortable at all - less people to choose this form of transport (people now still prefer long distance bus instead of traveling in conventional train, even though knowing that long distance bus are not safe).

  19. An enlightening post and comments indeed. I would definitely vouch for the benefits except reservations about the property prices benefit.

    Have travelled on the new Tianjin-Beijing HSR, it only took me 35 seconds but on reaching Beijing, there is a bottle neck at the station as everyone is congregating to descend the stairs/elevators to get out of the station. But once you reach the taxi terminus, though the queue is long, you get a cab within 20 minutes and they are clean, use the meter and orderly. Thumbs up as compared to our sorry state of Malaysian transportation system.

    Soon, I would also and can't wait to try the Taiwan HSR and Eurostar. Prices wise, they can be creative and competitive like Air Asia for Eurostar tickets if bought early are really cheap.

  20. Oops, should be 35 minutes on the Tianjin-Beijing HSR. Been typing too enthusiastically.

  21. After traveling on the Taiwan HSR, Korean KTX, and Eurostar I was a convert. I would never bother with bus or air again for those routes. On-time efficiency, door-to-door speed, safety and productivity is so much better on a high speed train.

  22. good for the people who will gain benefits, but not for those who will lose their lands for as low as RM500.

  23. I think the HSR would be very good for us all - if the distance can be reduce to 90 minutes (lets hope this is INCLUSIVE of immigration times), then I believe it would be very popular. But please do not make the tickets so expensive that it is only for a limited few.

    Eric Yong
    Kuala Lumpur

  24. Government should also take noted on the potential of the rise on indonesia (237++ mil ),vietnam (80++ mil) and bangkok (64 mil) as main competitor for share of foreign FDI in 10 year to come. With HSR, msia might able to position itself as one of the ASEAN country gateway (mainly indo,sg and thailands).It should done earlier, rather than when our nearby neighbouring sleeping giant woke up.

  25. Beside, once msia start building HSR. This may eventually position msia as leading HSR's industry leader among ASEAN country. Thus, this allows msia company to expand in ASEAN region. As no HSR, even exist on ASEAN region.

  26. Though I like the HSR idea, I will vote it down for now. Until YTL comes clean on the partial taxing ERL receives from ALL KLIA passengers, so there's no such thing as privately fully funded nonsense!

    I would like to suggest an open tender and may the best org wins.


  27. We already have a huge railway hub in KL Sentral and soon we will have JB Sentral at the multi-billion ringgit CIQ complex. So it is really a no-brainer that we should have the HSR to fully utilise the two railway hubs, besides all the other reasons already cited. Low-cost carriers like Air-Asia may be a boon to air travellers, but to those who fear flying, low fares will still not prod them to fly. KTM is a dinosaur by world rail standard and there are no prospects of any major improvement.

  28. It's a great idea to have HSR in Malaysia, it is safer and reduce travel time also environmentally friendly....it will benefit the country in long term.

  29. Yes to HSR, but it takes
    - political will to sway the self interest of the various states, ie. Johor;
    - federal manourving to privatise outdated KTM;
    - commercial acumen to benefit from the huge landbank vacated by KTM in Singapore;
    - skillful negotiation to relocate the station in Singapore to Tuas, Woodlands, etc.
    - pragmatism to work out the many road blocks to progress.
    - Impossible? depending on the people, the politics & the power play!

  30. Malaysia Barisan Nasional Government please wake up. Spend wisely on our taxpayer money and don't do something which doesn't create the economy effect project.You may want to get extra commission in this project but please do something which benefit to the Malaysian and not just cheat the Malaysian Money.
    I as a taxpayer was very angry that our money spend without create economic effect. If you propose is to built 12 billion Ipoh to Thailand double track. I will propose BN Government please move the first step build the High Speed Rail instead of double track.
    Don't let us feel that Malaysia People can think positive and rational but the government not. Government should be create the highest effect benefit to people and act smart ( in terms of benefit People) than the People.

  31. Don't believe in what you always read on newspaper or other media. The journey from london to paris is not as good as you think it is. I've taken the Euro Star (the so called high speed train from London to Paris) many times and it always struck with delays, slow traffic due to weather/engineering work and sometime it just stand still for no reason for half an hour!

  32. Since posting my "pure economics" comments, I would like to add my 2 cents to the domestic politics perspective, in-so-far as business is concerned, as it represents the "threats" to such a HSR as opportunities were cited by many.

    Business is inter-twined with politics to a large extent in Malaysia & it need more than just a quantum leap to get to the "wishful" HSR implementation. Without going deeper into the politics and the direction of future elections, for the HSR to be rolled-out, it need to overcome following threats as the HSR plan can be easily derailed prematurely:-

    i) concessionaires of North-South Highway (whose business will likely be affected, to some extent)

    ii) Air Asia (again their business could be affected and they'll have issues maximising use of their plane fleet, with the enormous and ambitious expansion plans)

    iii) KTM (whether they can survive or thrive with comptition, remains to be seen. Well, maybe as a niche player)

    iv) competition in operating the HSR (much like the British experience now with Virgin Rail and regional operators compared their legacy experience of just having British Rail, where service was pathetic and charging ridiculous fares)

    These are real challenges esp with regard to the first 3 parties (& their connections to those in power) and also the will-power of politicans to introduce open-tender bid.

    So game-changing events need more than just digging into tax-payers$$. Naturally in those scandal-plagued projects, the politicans did not seek your prior approval to utilise the tax$ collected or to be collected.

  33. I am all for it. Definitely would like to see my KL property price go up.

  34. the hurdle of mentallity is always a problem in malaysia...if onli malaysia could emulate DUBAI...

  35. Definitely it is a good thing to do.We should not let politics to come in the way to hinder this project.People in the political circles must support it.Those who are not will have to pray and get GOD'S backing.May the good LORD bless this project.

  36. Definitely its a good things to implement but should be not only consider about the KL development.Why only KL-Singapore and why not to Perak,Penang,Perlis,Terengganu and Thailand.We should consider to bring tourist from other destination via Thailand and not only think about the through Singapore.As a malaysian I am more prefer all the state in Malaysia to be consider equal development opportunity in the fast transport system and not only one KL CITY.Malaysian needs scrap all the local train sysytem which is very slow movements from place to another place and introduce the fast train travel system which can move our Malaysia internal economy growth more faster which can also a bridge to face the global economy system.

  37. What a great idea. Your article is very persuasive and makes a lot of sense. Of course politics is the problem no matter how good the idea is. If you want to get really ambitious do the bridge too.

  38. Definitely the points highlighted in the article has all the ingredients of a major runaway success for OUR country, Malaysia.
    Also earler rewards can be realised with the kl-spore route rather than kl-pg route because of the currency exchange, purchasing trends and positive spillover effects from the anticipated heightened economic activity with our neighbour, Singapore.
    YTL being one of the Top Five brands of Malaysia would be able to deliver the goods in a holistic and transparent manner accountable to rhe people of Malaysia and more profoundly to GOD.
    May God continue to bless this project, moresoif done by one of God's publicly professed steward of God's wealth.

  39. I would definitely choose KL-S'pore HSR to the Ipoh Thailand double tracking after reading this article. There seems to be a common string running through every nation on earth. The Formula: Combine 1)Government 2)Business 3)Banks 4)Media 5)Transport and 6)Communication, and hey presto! a Company gets an impregnable iron-clad source of revenue at the expense of the tax-payer. This shameless game has been growing for the last 45 years with total disregard to the common man or nature up to the point of threatening the sanctity of our intellectual process. There seems to be no difference between the terrorist who bombed the twin towers and the slow killer who masterminded the slow but sure bleeding of our economy up to the point of total collapse.
    David Jeremiah, www.buyerbeaware.blogspot.com

  40. Go for it.......nothing to lose.

  41. I can't wait for this project KL-SIN HSR to be realised soon. I am from KL and currently working in Malacca. With this project, I am hoping to travel back and forth more frequently. If the ticket price is cheap, I can definitely stay in KL with my family and work in Malacca by traveling using the HSR. This is definitely a good project. When I was in UK, I see a lot of people travel 100-150km radius to work and it is so convenient. Why can't we have this 1st class facility? I would say yes and go ahead with this project as soon as possible for economic benefit for all the southern Malaysia states and Singapore.

    Tin Lee

  42. KTM in Singapore will stand to lose heavily and may be forced to terminate its services in Singapore once high speed rail to Singapore materialises.

    KTM management must restructure its visions and plans. KTM should re-gauge its 1,000mm gauge network to standard gauge network of 1,435mm so that the entire network would benefit all parties. Doubling tracks should have dual gauge in first place to gradually phase out trains running on narrow gauges. It is too late and extremely costly to re-gauge the entire lines.

    KTM is not exactly moving forward with double tracking 1,000 mm gauge network. Little benefits are gaining from existing operational double tracks.

    The entire project of HSR will work if trains can use the existing rail network when they approach stations. This will reduce the costs of construction of stations and separate lines.

  43. World's Fastest Train....574 km/h.....French TGV
    Anybody who wants to watch this record-breaking train speed by the French TGV..please email me at tickboon@gmail.com and I'll email you the wmv file to you.It's pretty amazing how fast today's latest high spped train can go.If there is one project which can propel us faster into Vision 2020,this HSR project linking KL to Singapore got to be one of them..

  44. I say it's about time we embark on such a project. Imagine the advances in engineering know-how which Malaysia sorely needs.

    I had the pleasure of using both the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Hiroshima (about 4 hrs) and London to Paris (2 hrs) within the last 2 years, and completely in awe of both.

    If there's a major investment to be made in infrastructure, this is definitely it!

  45. Please go ahead with haste, but make sure the interconnectivity in KL Sentral improves or else it could be a redundant effort.

  46. Sure it will turn on the both countries economic to "positive" state. Convenience, faster and comfortable way between singapore and Malaysia.


(Your comment will be visible after approval)