MP: Go ahead, scrap HSR, but improve Johor transport system

Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching says cancelling the HSR project was a painful but right decision.

KUALA LUMPUR: Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching today urged the government to consider smaller and more economical projects to improve public transportation in Johor now that the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project is off.

Saying it was a painful but right decision to cancel the HSR project in view of the nation’s financial situation, Teo added that the population of greater Johor Bahru had surpassed 1.5 million and a rail-based public transport system was needed to improve the quality of life.

“So, please don’t just scrap HSR, but also consider using the money saved from the project to improve the public transport system in greater JB,” Teo said.

The DAP MP also offered several suggestions on improving local transportation, including building a walkalator on the 1.7km Causeway to ease traffic and the cost burden on Causeway users.

She said this would benefit some 300,000 people who travelled to and from Singapore every day.

She also suggested that part of the existing KTM non-electrified track be upgraded and connected to Singapore via Iskandar Puteri/Nusajaya and Jurong East, and for an increase in the frequency of KTM trains between Singapore and Malaysian customs.

Teo said the construction of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) link should also be fast-tracked, saying this would make border crossing less of a hassle and reduce congestion on the Causeway by up to 15%.

Malaysia and Singapore had inked an agreement in January to build the RTS link connecting Bukit Chagar, Johor Bahru to Woodland, Singapore by 2024.

Teo also suggested that the Gemas-Johor Bahru Electrified Train Service (ETS) be extended to Singapore.