• Transport Minister Anthony Loke confirmed that he has received the preliminary report from MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd for the HSR project, saying the assessment has yet to be finalised at the ministry level.

KUALA LUMPUR (March 14): The Transport Ministry will be examining concept proposals for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project with a focus on minimising financial implications for the government.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke (pictured) confirmed that he has received the preliminary report from MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd for the HSR project, saying the assessment has yet to be finalised at the ministry level.

"After we finalise the evaluation, it will be taken up to the prime minister and deputy prime minister to decide the direction of the HSR project," Loke said during ministerial question time in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday.

Loke was responding to Khairil Nizam Khirudin (PN-Jerantut), who enquired about the status of the HSR project and whether the project would be funded by the government.

Loke reiterated that the government's intention for the HSR project is to be led by the private sector without any injection of government funds.

"Among the main decisions that the government has made is that the project will not involve the injection of government funds, and it must be funded by the private sector. However, whether it is fully funded or any component will involve financial implications (from the government), we will have to see," Loke said.

Malaysia and Singapore signed a bilateral agreement for the 350km rail project back in 2016. It was supposed to be completed in 2026 and targeted significantly reduced travel time between Kuala Lumpur and the island republic of just 90 minutes.

However, the railway project was cancelled on January 1, 2021 by the Perikatan Nasional-led government, resulting in Malaysia having to pay RM320 million in compensation to Singapore as part of the bilateral agreement.

Helming Putrajaya in November 2022, the unity government then expressed a willingness to revive the HSR project as long as Putrajaya would not bear the cost, with MyHSR Corp — an entity wholly owned by the Minister of Finance Inc — mandated with project delivery and implementation of the HSR project.

A total of 31 firms across seven local and international consortia have submitted concept proposals following the Request for Information (RFI) exercise launched in July 2023 by MyHSR Corp for the project.

On March 4, in a written parliamentary reply, the Ministry of Transport stated that the evaluation of the seven concept proposals is expected to take two months to complete.

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