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'We were misquoted on high-speed rail article'

Malaysia's land transport agency denies suggesting that rail should end in JB
Saturday, June 20, 2015 - 05:50
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Malaysia's Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) said that its chief was misquoted in a news report as having suggested that the high-speed rail project between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur should terminate at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex in Johor Bahru.

Singapore

MALAYSIA'S Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) said on Friday that its chief was misquoted in a news report as having suggested that the high-speed rail project between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur should terminate at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex in Johor Bahru - a comment that had sparked "surprise" from Singapore's Ministry of Transport.

SPAD said that it would have preferred to terminate the line in Singapore's Central Business District (CBD). This would put the terminus closer to Orchard Road than having it in Jurong East. This was from a statement from SPAD, as seen on ChannelNewsAsia; SPAD did not put the statement on its website.

The statement added: "However, this is a joint project for the benefit of both countries, and hence, there has to be give and take. For example, if we had wanted to terminate it at the CIQ, the entire project will be within our borders and we will have more control. But this would not have been optimal and neither country would have benefited as much.

"So just as we want Singapore to consider our economic and social considerations, we have to weigh Singapore's economic and commercial considerations as well, to come to an agreement."

The statement came just hours after the Singapore ministry expressed "surprise" at the statement made in The Edge, a Malaysian publication, which quoted SPAD chief executive Mohd Nur Ismal Mohd Kamal as saying that SPAD "would prefer to terminate the line at the existing CIQ customs".

The ministry said that the commercial premise of the railway project was based on a direct connection between the two city centres. "Terminating the high-speed rail in Johor Bahru will not achieve this objective."

It added that contrary to what was said in the Malaysian media by Johor State Exco for Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Haji Hasni bin Haji Mohammad, there has been no agreement with Malaysia that the crossing of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link would be a high bridge.

"We have yet to receive official confirmation of the location of Malaysia's RTS terminus in Johor Bahru."

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