ALOR SETAR • The tender for the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project linking Kuala Lumpur to Singapore is expected to be called within a year from the signing of an initial agreement tomorrow, said Malaysia's Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai.
He said his ministry is looking forward to the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the rail link between both governments in Putrajaya tomorrow.
"Once the signing is done, the authorities will prepare the tender documents. The tender will be called within a year's time," he told reporters after attending an event.
The MOU will pave the way for detailed negotiations on the main bilateral agreement, which is expected to be signed by the end of this year, the New Straits Times newspaper reported last Thursday.
Datuk Seri Liow said "many international companies" have shown interest in participating in the project.
More details of the HSR are expected to be unveiled at the signing ceremony which the Malaysian media has said will take place at the official residence of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in Putrajaya.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is expected to witness the signing.
The proposed 350km double- track HSR line will cut travelling time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to 90 minutes, compared with more than four hours by car. Its two terminuses will be in the new township of Bandar Malaysia at the edge of Kuala Lumpur, and in Jurong East.
The train will have several stops, including in Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri, before heading towards Jurong East via Tuas. Iskandar Puteri is the new name for Nusajaya.
Malaysian media reports have said that the project is estimated to cost between RM60 billion (S$20.4 billion) and RM65 billion.
Mr Liow said the project will bring economic development to Malaysia and Singapore, with transit-oriented development projects helping to develop towns along the rail link.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK