Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission CEO Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah, in his keynote address at the 4th International Summit of the HSR Asia 2017, said the rail system is a game changer because it will “pull isolated regions closer, spur growth and help several towns unleash their potential by making them highly accessible,” Channel News Asia reported.
Not just tourists but also workers and investors will reap the benefits, he said.
The HSR is expected to increase the number of travelers across the two countries. There is a pent-up demand for travel between KL and Singapore, as gleaned from the number of cross-border buses and flights between the two cities.
As a result, Mohd Azharuddin said, there will be economic activities along its route, including but not limited to business activities in the surrounding areas of the stations.
"Introducing the rail into the equation will offer a competitive option that promises to save, not just time, but will lead to many other opportunities," he said.
The CEO acknowledged that much work lies ahead.
"Complex undertakings like a cross-border high-speed rail cannot be executed by looking at mere anecdotes or skimming through easy examples - we need to analyse comprehensive data sets to arrive at more robust conclusions," he said.
Other complex issues were funding options, network expansion, capacity increment, communication an signaling and safety and security.
According to Mohd Azharuddin, his agency and its counterpart, the Land Transport Authority of Singapore, were ensuring that safety is a key consideration in the design and operation of the HSR.
The next briefing, scheduled for September 26, will “provide in-depth information on technical, commercial and project governance aspects of the project and also serve as a platform to share key features of the project with the industry and interested participants,” he said.
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More than 111,000 jobs will be available between now and 2060 as the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) is seen to contribute RM21 billion – or S$6.7 billion – to the two economies.