SEREMBAN, Jan 5 — The cancellation of Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project will slightly hamper Negri Sembilan’s economic growth, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun said.

He said if the project could be resumed with one of its stations in Labu, it would be able to accelerate the development of the Malaysian Vision Valley 2.0 (MVV 2.0) as planned by the state government.

“We feel the HSR would actually speed up linkages in the southern area but when it is cancelled, this will slow down some investments in Negri Sembilan,” he told reporters after officiating the state-level Greening Malaysian Programme: 100 Million Trees Planting Campaign 2021-2025 here today.

Aminuddin said the MVV 2.0 project, for which a total of 153,411 hectares of land in Nilai, Seremban and Port Dickson will be developed, is expected to attract RM294 billion investments in a span of 30 years.

However, he said the state government would look at other appropriate development needs in the area in an effort to further boost the state’s economic growth.

Meanwhile, Rantau assemblyman Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, in his Facebook post, said the government needs to be transparent with the cancellation and give a proper explanation.

“The implication from the HSR cancellation means that all urban development planning and growth of various economic sectors will have a negative impact, including integrated transportation hubs such as Bandar Malaysia, as well as other urban development along the HSR route.

“If the project is continued without Singapore, it is no longer strategic,” Mohamad, who is also Umno Deputy President and former Negri Sembilan mentri besar, said.

In a joint statement on January 1, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, announced the termination of the HSR project following the expiration of the project agreement on December 31, 2020, after both countries failed to reach an agreement on changes proposed by Malaysia.

The leaders said both countries would honour their respective obligations and proceed with the necessary actions following the termination of the agreement.

On December 13, 2016, Malaysia and Singapore signed a bilateral agreement for the HSR project implementation that is slated for completion in 2026 and will shorten the travel period between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to 90 minutes. — Bernama