KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 — Construction for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project can wait another 10 to 20 years as it is not important, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
He said since the HSR line is only 230km long, it would not cut travel time much.
“Since long ago, I already don’t think this is an important project. The system (HSR) has to go far enough in order for us to save, in terms of time.
“(Now) it only goes as far as 230km, the most you can save is about 15 minutes and for that 15 minutes you need to spend a large amount of money,” he told reporters today at the Perdana Leadership Foundation.
He added that worse still, the cost to build the HSR has gone up to about RM80 billion.
“We’ll never get back our money,” he said.
As previously reported, the HSR project was cancelled due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country’s economy.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Economy Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the situation forced the government to re-evaluate the HSR project.
He said the proposed new project structure also prevented the government from providing guarantees amounting to RM60 billion for 30 years.