Shanmugam: High-speed rail presents huge opportunities for both countries

The proposed high-speed rail (HSR) link that will make it possible to get from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur in 90 minutes will be a game changer not just for the two governments, but also for how Singaporeans and Malaysians live, work and play, said Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam.

Speaking on the sidelines of a Nee Soon GRC Lunar New Year dinner this evening, Mr Shanmugam said the resolution of the Points of Agreement on Malayan Railway land in Singapore in 2010 - deadlocked for over two decades - has paved the way for joint ventures and iconic developments and showed that "things are progressing steadily" for the two countries.

"If you talk about 90 minutes between Singapore and KL, you are really talking about being able to wake up in Singapore, go to KL for business or pleasure, and come back in the evening; or spend a weekend," he said.

"So the connectivity is going to increase, and for us it creates huge opportunities, in terms of leisure, in terms of business, and of course vice versa for Malaysia as well."

But Mr Shanmugam stressed that the high-speed railway alone is not a litmus test of the state of the bilateral relationship, which includes other aspects such as historic ties and shared culture.

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