KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) - Former Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said on Sunday (June 3) the Pakatan Harapan government should conduct studies and provide a comprehensive explanation to the people on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project.
He said the Barisan Nasional government had conducted years of studies and found that the HSR would contribute RM209 billion (S$70.31 billion) to the Gross Domestic Product, compared to its cost of RM70 billion.
He said the income that would be generated from HSR-linked development projects far exceeded that of ticket sales, which included an increase in property value, the creation of 442,000 job opportunities, technology transfer, rapid local economic growth and tourism.
Mr Najib also said he was surprised when Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that Malaysia would not get any profit out of the HSR project, and would have to pay RM500 million in compensation to Singapore for cancelling it.
"He should be responsible in terms of carrying out detailed studies, and providing a comprehensive explanation to the people and investors about the cost analysis and the benefits of the project as a whole," he said in a video posted on his Facebook page on Sunday.
On May 28, Dr Mahathir confirmed that Malaysia would be scrapping the HSR project, and probably would have to pay up to RM500 million to Singapore in compensation for aborting it.
The 335km-long railway project, which involves four states in Malaysia, was planned to connect Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, with a travel time of 90 minutes. The project was scheduled for completion in 2026.