Malaysia invites proposals from private sector for S’pore-KL high-speed rail project

The project, which was envisioned as a 350km rail link between Singapore and Malaysia’s capital, has been shelved for more than two years.

Zunaira Saieed

Zunaira Saieed

The Straits Times


An artist's impression of the Bandar Malaysia High Speed Rail (HSR) station in Kuala Lumpur. The project has been shelved for two years. PHOTO: EDELMAN

July 13, 2023

PUTRAJAYA – The proposed high-speed rail (HSR) project between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is gathering momentum, with the Malaysian government inviting private firms to provide in-depth proposals to assess how feasible a public-private partnership will be.

The HSR project, which was envisioned as a 350km rail link between Singapore and Malaysia’s capital, has been shelved for more than two years.

But Minister of Transport Anthony Loke said on Wednesday that government-owned MyHSR Corporation has initiated a request for information (RFI) exercise after having earlier obtained preliminary proposals from private companies.

“By calling the RFI, the private companies can now get access to documents, which are studies that have been done by MyHSR. The private companies can purchase these reports to study but with conditions of non-disclosure, and come up with the proposal for the HSR project,” he told reporters at a press conference.

“Right now, we are gathering information and proposals on how well the private sector can proceed and conduct the HSR project.”

After receiving proposals from the private sector, Mr Loke said evaluation and assessment of the plans will be conducted by MyHSR. He declined to name the companies interested in the project.

It was reported in March that the Malaysian government met several private companies to gauge their interest in the project, which was initially estimated to cost US$17 billion (S$22.7 billion).

The companies that were invited for a meeting included MMC Corporation, WCT Holdings, Berjaya Group and Malaysian Resources Corporation, said The Edge Malaysia on March 27.

Meanwhile, MyHSR said on Tuesday that the RFI exercise will be open to local and international companies, which will allow the Malaysian government to assess the industry’s ability to fully fund the project.

“(The process) marks the government’s initiative to reactivate the project via new funding mechanisms and implementation models in efforts to further improve rail transport infrastructure and to invigorate the national economy,” it said.

Singapore’s Transport Ministry told ST that it had no updates since its last official statement in August 2022.

The ministry said it was open to discussing any new proposal from Malaysia for the HSR “in good faith, starting from a clean slate”.

Singapore Transport Minister S. Iswaran on May 11 said the Republic is ready to study any proposal from Malaysia on how the HSR project can be restarted.

“We remain open, and we are ready to work with the government of Malaysia,” he said.

In January 2021, Malaysia and Singapore jointly called off the high-speed railway after both countries failed to agree on several proposed changes to the project.

Malaysia paid more than $102 million in compensation to Singapore for the project’s termination.

scroll to top