Johor exco: ECRL, HSR won’t jeopardise local airlines

Will East Coast Rail Link and KL-Singapore high-speed rail hurt airline industry?

JOHOR BAHRU: High-impact public transportation projects, such as the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR), will not destroy the local airline industry.

Johor Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Hasni Mohammad said the planning of such projects was conducted in a holistic manner that took into consideration the impact on all parties.

“If the impact was so negative, as alleged by some parties, then bus companies and other transportation systems will no longer function. On the contrary, these projects give the public more choices.

“I believe all transportation companies, whether for buses, airlines or trains, will have their own business plans.

“I am certain that whatever the government undertakes will not sideline other sectors,” he told reporters after officiating the ground-breaking ceremony for the Gemas-Johor Bahru Electric Double-Tracking Railway Project here today.

Hasni said this in response to a recent statement by former finance minister Daim Zainuddin, who alleged that the ECRL and HSR projects would ruin the local airline industry.

Present at the ceremony were Johor Bahru Umno division chief Shahrir Samad, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd chief executive officer Mohd Rani Hisham Samsudin, and the transport ministry’s development unit secretary, Abdul Haris Lakar.

The 192km Gemas-Johor Bahru double-tracking project, costing RM9.4 billion, is expected to be completed by end-2021.