Today we celebrated a key milestone in Malaysia’s transformation journey towards a progressive and high-income nation. Building on the momentum of raising the bar in Malaysia, we signed a Bilateral Agreement with Singapore less than a year ago for the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail project and today, here we are, relentlessly moving a step closer towards a world-class high-speed rail in our country.
Guided by the Economic Transformation Programme or (ETP), which has seen 2.26 million jobs created over the last six years, while keeping inflation and unemployment low, we have witnessed healthy growth even at a time of uncertainty for the global economy.
The high-speed rail will certainly contribute to a long term positive outlook to our economy as it has the potential to revolutionise connectivity in the south-west corridor of the Peninsular, impacting the way we conduct business and the way we interact with each other.
Imagine traveling to Singapore in just 90 minutes from Bandar Malaysia, transforming into reality the concept of a truly borderless world from a transportation standpoint. In staying true to the concept of seamless travel, the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities will be co-located at Bandar Malaysia, Iskandar Puteri and Jurong East, Singapore. This means that international passengers will only need to undergo both Singapore and Malaysia CIQ clearance at the point of departure.
This iconic development will be a true game changer for the country and will have a range of positive knock-on benefits for the rakyat right from the start of its construction. It is an InfraRakyat project that was conceived not only to provide an alternative travel mode between two of South East Asia’s most vibrant economic engines, but more importantly it is a core enabler of the ETP’s vision to transform Malaysia into a high income nation, on par with other first-world countries.
This is therefore a project that is very close to my heart. Right from its inception, I have been very closely involved in getting it off the ground and making it a reality, and I am delighted that today I am able share with you in much greater detail, the look and feel of the KL-Singapore HSR, in terms of the station concepts and designs.The Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail connects the cities of Kuala Lumpur, Bangi and Putrajaya, Seremban, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat, Iskandar Puteri and Singapore.
Extensive research and substantial efforts have been put into each of the HSR station designs to ensure a dynamic reflection of Malaysia’s rich heritage and cultural diversity. The design team took the approach of a journey (MYJourney) and touched on seven central themes namely MYGateway, MYPeople, MyVision, MYHeritage, MYFuture, MYCulture and MYEncounter, applying them to the seven stations along the route. The designs not only highlight each city’s unique elements, but also provide prominence to creativity and innovation, as we move into the future.
I have personally been involved in ensuring that every station design retains strong reflections of Malaysia’s identity and heritage whilst remaining modern and futuristic, and I am pleased to share with you the design concepts of some of the stations.
The first stop is the Bandar Malaysia station. With Kuala Lumpur as the capital city and gateway, the Bandar Malaysia station design is a re-interpretation of the confluence of Klang and Gombak rivers – a symbolic wisdom of unity, of people from all walks of life.
For the Bangi-Putrajaya station, located at the border between Selangor and Putrajaya, its station design embraces the influence of majestic yet intricate details of Islamic architecture. The Seremban station design, meanwhile, is inspired by the grandeur of the royal palace of Sri Menanti and the lush tropical greenery of the Malaysia Vision Valley.
As we get into Melaka, inspiration is drawn from Melaka’s history as a strategic trading port in its heyday thus the Melaka station design was drawn from the image of a merchant ship, symbolising the entrepreneurship spirit of the local communities.
Moving down south to the state of Johor, the richest elements of Malay culture are reflected here with the Muar Station inspired by the rehal, traditionally used for placing the Quran as students learn to recite it. The design thus symbolises the importance of learning entrenched in our culture long ago, and continuing to be a pillar of our identitiy now and into the future.
The Batu Pahat station, is inspired by the ‘Kuda Kepang’, striking a balance between heritage and modernisation. And finally, the Iskandar Puteri station, is inspired by the representation of a handshake, signifying Iskandar Puteri’s role as a regional city for commerce, for future business undertakings and international encounters combined with the Malaysian charm and warmth.
I am certain that all of you are excited with the concept designs of the seven stations. And there is even more to be excited about. These stations are a demonstration of our commitment to an advanced, innovative and integrated development of the surrounding areas or more commonly known known as Transit-Oriented Development or TOD.
From the beginning, the KL-SG HSR was never just a transportation project. It was by and large a project focused on providing significant and endless possibilities for the nation as a whole. Our vision is for each HSR station to become a hub and a gateway to Malaysia’s modern and most advanced cities, an equally important element that will drive Malaysia towards achieving the TN50 aspiration. Beyond revolutionising connectivity between two of Southeast Asia’s major economic forces, the KL-SG HSR will fundamentally merge the cities, which stand to gain from the agglomerated network of larger market demand, wider talent pool, infrastructure and clusters of business opportunities.
As for the nation, Malaysia will be positioned as the preferred investment destination in the region, providing wider investment opportunities and diversification. To achieve this, we are developing the HSR Corridor Socio-economic Development Programme (SDP). This SDP will focus on three main components; Economy, Inclusivity and Sustainability. Under the main thrust of the focus on economy, priority economic sub-sectors will be accelerated by way of a focused and targeted approach. The Inclusivity component focuses on skills training and access to jobs, entrepreneurship opportunities and affordable housing; whereas the sustainability component focuses on Transit-Oriented Development, public transportation and implementation of low carbon city.
We are all excited to see the lift-off of this project that has been talked about around the world for some time now. I’m happy to report that that momentous hour is getting closer and closer, and it is right on track.Firstly, I have just approved the Railway Scheme which paves the way for the the Public Inspection exercise which will begin on 1 November 2017 for a duration of 3 months. This exercise serves as a channel for the public to share their feedback, suggestions or raise any concerns regarding the project and the proposed alignment.
Information and inspection booths will be placed at key locations in all states along the HSR corridor. I highly encourage all of you to visit these booths to find out more about this project and share your feedback or concerns regarding the KL-SG HSR project.
Additionally, the land acquisition process for the project has also commenced. Starting with the Section 4 process, of the Land Acquisition Act 1960, MyHSR has and is submitting its applications to the relevant government authorities for land freezing purposes, an essential process to study the viability of the pre-selected areas. Then these selected areas are further refined to reflect public’s feedback on the alignment. After which, the finalised areas of land will then be acquired for the project.
MyHSR Corp has also set-up a hotline for the ease of the rakyat to share their feedback and concerns. Again, I encourage everyone to use these avenues to share your feedback. Malaysia is moving on the right track towards becoming a better nation with a brighter future. This project is a catalyst towards that end, and all eyes will be on how we execute and deliver it to the people
Therefore, I seek the mutual support, cooperation, knowledge and expertise from all the KL-SG HSR stakeholders to ensure a smooth and successful delivery of this iconic rail project by 2026. I believe we can do it, and we can set an example of how mega projects like this can be delivered efficiently and in a timely manner for the benefit of the country and the people. I am very much looking forward to commence the project by next year, and I hope all of you, together with all the rakyat will be with me on this journey to build the iconic KL-Singapore HSR.