Last Friday evening, I co-chaired the Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia (IM) meeting with Malaysian Minister Abdul Wahid Omar at Nusajaya, IM. Minister Lui Tuck Yew and Johor Menteri Besar Khaled Nordin were also present.
We focused on the two game changing transport projects: Rapid Transit System (RTS) link between JB and Woodlands; High Speed Rail (HSR) link between KL and Singapore.
Meanwhile, the HSR has excited many people from both sides of the Causeway, and also the train manufacturers. We were briefed at the meeting on the Malaysian study. It is a complex project with many issues to address, from financing to engineering and border security control. There are many HSR projects around the world but cross-border HSR is rare. A prominent example is the London-Paris HSR, which offers a useful reference.
At the meeting, we also agreed to set up a Work Group for the HSR, so that our experts can dive into the many complex details and assess the options.
These are two game changing projects worthy of pursuit. We must, however, make sure they are optimally designed to meet the needs of our people.
Our meeting ended at 10 pm. The UMNO General Assembly was in session and the Malaysian leaders drove back to KL immediately after our meeting. It is a long drive and they would have reached KL at around 3 am! We deeply appreciate their coming down to JB to attend the meeting. In the future, when the HSR runs, travelling between our two capitals will be much faster and no longer such a hassle!