PETALING JAYA: Melaka will not allow the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project to pass through the state if it only ends in Johor Bahru and not Singapore.
Caretaker chief minister Sulaiman Md Ali said the original route from Kuala Lumpur-Singapore was not only important in reducing traffic congestion but would also bring economic benefits to the state.
He said the HSR project would be given priority if Barisan Nasional (BN) was given the mandate to govern Melaka.
“That is what is stated in the BN manifesto. I will ask for the revival of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project to be given priority.
“If BN is given a new mandate, I will not give approval to the HSR project if it only ends in Johor.
“Just look at the congestion in Melaka during weekends (when domestic and foreign tourists enter the state).
“If the HSR project stops in Singapore, many will visit Melaka by train,” he told the Melaka Hari Ini portal.
If the original route is revived, Sulaiman, who is BN’s choice to be chief minister if the coalition wins the mandate in the Nov 20 state election, proposed creating a new rail line from the Melaka HSR station to Melaka Sentral.
The HSR rail project was axed on Jan 1, with Malaysia having to pay Singapore RM320 million in compensation as part of its obligation under the bilateral agreement.
Meanwhile, a study into the proposed HSR project linking Kuala Lumpur and Iskandar Puteri in Johor has been completed and will be submitted to the Cabinet.