In a shock announcement this week, the Malaysian Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) told Malaysian media that it wants to terminate the upcoming high-speed rail (HSR) terminus at the existing Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex in Johor.
Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) said today that it was surprised about the Malaysian statement. Earlier in March this year, leaders of Singapore and Malaysia announced that the HSR terminus in Singapore*will be located at Jurong East.
The full MOT statement below:
Singapore and Malaysia agreed at the 2013 Leaders’ Retreat to build the High Speed Rail (HSR) link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Studies have been carried out by both countries. Malaysia decided last year that the HSR terminus in Kuala Lumpur would be located in Bandar Malaysia. Similarly, Singapore has decided that the HSR terminus in Singapore would be located in Jurong East. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong informed Prime Minister Najib Razak of this at this year’s Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat, and the location was also announced to the public at the joint press conference by the two Prime Ministers following the Retreat. We are therefore surprised by the Land Public Transport Commission’s (SPAD) recent statement that Malaysia preferred to terminate the HSR at the existing CIQ (customs, immigration and quarantine) complex in Johor Bahru.
Furthermore, our understanding is that Malaysia views the commercial premise of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project, and with which we agree, as being based on a direct connection between the two city centres. Terminating the HSR in Johor Bahru will not achieve this objective.
Both sides are in discussion on the project’s commercial and operating models. Singapore has proposed that the domestic transit HSR services, which will stop at six stations in Malaysia between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and hence primarily serve commuters travelling within Malaysia, be operated separately from the express non-stop HSR services between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. This will give Malaysia autonomy over the domestic transit services to serve Malaysia’s domestic needs and benefit Malaysia, while both countries work together on the cross-border HSR services.
On the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link, both countries can only determine the type and alignment of the crossing after both terminus locations have been confirmed. Singapore informed Malaysia in June 2011 that the terminus in Singapore would be located at the Woodlands North station of the Thomson-East Coast Line. However, we have yet to receive official confirmation of the location of Malaysia’s RTS terminus in Johor Bahru. As such, contrary to what was said in the Malaysian media by Johor State Exco for Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee Chairman Datuk Ir. Haji Hasni bin Haji Mohammad, there is no agreement with Malaysia that the crossing will be a high bridge.*