JOHOR - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Tuesday (Dec 6) that an agreement on the high-speed rail (HSR) project with Singapore will be signed next week.
His comment comes after the two countries postponed a Leaders' Retreat between Datuk Seri Najib and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong - scheduled on Monday (Dec 5) - at which both sides were to sign the agreement.
"Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong asked to be given some time because they needed to brief and get the approval from the President," Utusan Daily quoted Mr Najib as telling reporters at an Iskandar Malaysia's 10th anniversary event.
Mr Najib did not say which day next week the signing will take place.
Mr Lee told Malaysia’s Bernama news agency last Monday that both sides had made “very good progress” on the agreement.
The HSR links Kuala Lumpur to Singapore with 90 minutes traveling time, cutting the land journey by more than half.
Construction of the 350km railway is expected to start in 2018, with trains running by 2026.
Besides the Singapore-KL express service, the line will also have a domestic service within Malaysia, stopping at Iskandar Puteri, Batu Pahat, Muar, Ayer Keroh, Seremban and Putrajaya. There will also be a shuttle service between Singapore and Iskandar Puteri in Johor.
The Singapore terminus will be at the upcoming Jurong Lake District. Customs, immigration and quarantine facilities for the railway will be co-located at three stops – Singapore, Iskandar Puteri and KL.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the HSR project was signed in July this year by Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan. It was witnessed by the two prime ministers.