The proposed Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project will bring many benefits to Malaysia, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
Abdul Rahman, who is the minister in charge of the Economic Planning Unit, said the project was the result of intensive research since 2010 and its impact, benefits and risks have been identified.
"Only recently, after much work and deliberation, has the government proceeded (with the decision) to develop the HSR project with Singapore.
"This project, while complicated and extensive, is expected to benefit the country economically, socially and technologically.
"Businesses will be more productive and able to access a broader market place, while individuals will enjoy an improved travel experience of shorter travel time and a comfortable ride, through the HSR's city centre-to-city centre connection along the corridor," he said.
RM100b multiplier benefits
Abdul Rahman said travel time between Greater Klang Valley and Singapore would be reduced to 90 minutes, which is faster than flying, thanks to the HSR.
"The gross domestic product (GDP) impact resulting from construction, operations, ancillary services, and indirect multiplier benefits through tourism and property appreciation will be approximately RM100 billion.
"The wider economic benefits that could be leveraged from the HSR project are conservatively estimated at an additional RM21 billion of GDP in the year 2060 with 111,000 jobs created," he added.
Additionally, the HSR will open up and rejuvenate smaller cities that are not served by KTMB's double track project and connecting them to two major cities.
The minister added that the public are encouraged to provide public feedback on the project but warned opposition parties to not politicise the issue.
Malaysia and Singapore are expected to ink the agreement for the project sometime this month.- Mkini