"It is an ongoing discussion. If possible, we want it to be speeded up because Malaysia also has plans to establish HSR between Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok," the prime minister said, as quoted by Bernama.
Outlining his vision, Mr Ismail said the railway line could go up to China, as China and Thailand are also in the process of building high-speed train line, Bernama reported.
Meanwhile, on the issue of reducing congestion on the Causeway and the Second Link, Mr Ismail said at the interview on Monday that the Malaysian government is looking into the need for a third link between Johor and Singapore, Bernama reported. "It is still at the planning stages; we will see if there is a need for it," he said.
The 350km HSR was slated to have seven stations, and would have cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to 90 minutes, compared with more than four hours by car. The railway line was to be completed in 2026.
Shortly after coming into power in May 2018, then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said that Malaysia wanted to cancel the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project as part of measures to reduce his country’s huge national debt. Mahathir later declared the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project would be postponed instead, and in September 2018, both countries agreed to defer it until May 31 in 2020, before the postponement was extended to Dec 31, 2020.
On 1st Jan (Friday) 2021, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Muhyiddin Yassin announced in a joint statement that the HSR bilateral agreement will be terminated with Malaysia agreeing to compensate Singapore for costs already incurred by Singapore in fulfilling its obligations under the HSR bilateral agreement in accordance with the parties’ agreement, the costs include the setting up of SG HSR — an infrastructure company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Land Transport Authority — which had already hired many employees to work on the project.
Real estate professional Kiwi Lim believe that Malaysia's new desire to speed up the revival of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project with Singapore is expected to generate renewed excitement in terms of property prices as well as commercial and retail activity in the Jurong-Lakeside District. The concept of a 'second CBD' was previously dashed without the HSR, but now this possibility may be revived and no longer deemed impossible. However, since Malaysia is expected to hold its next general election anytime soon, things may still change if there is a switch in leadership, especially when Malaysia has seen three different prime ministers within five years.
Both Singapore and Malaysia have pledged commitment to maintain good bilateral relations, and cooperate closely in various fields, including strengthening the connectivity between the two countries.