> KL-Singapore High Speed Rail – bane or boon for the local property industry
ACCORDING to recent reports, the KL-Singapore HSR agreement will be signed and sealed in 2016. With that, theSun briefly examines the project, the objectives of the project, the pros and cons for the property industry and more.
Generally, connectivity and a good networking system often begets more advantages than disadvantages. In the case of the KL-Singapore HSR project, it was envisioned years ago and part of the Economic Transformation Programme, launched in 2010. The southern corridor HSR was in fact, one of the Entry Point Projects included with the intention to “improve the economic dynamism of the country’s capital city and better livability rankings, similar to other cities around the globe”.
Said to be a major catalyst in the development of Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley – the project ultimately aims to transform Malaysia into a high-income economy nation by 2020. According to research and projections mobility and market demand between the two countries, KL and Singapore, will double, economic returns will benefit both countries increasing business activities which will have multiplier benefits, socioeconomic advantages included.
Fundamentally, the HSR will reduce travel time between the two countries, requiring a mere 90minute ride from one point to the other. This will also open up opportunities to rejuvenate the smaller cities, especially where the six in-between stops/stations are located along the (about) 350km high-speed double-track route.
These include: • Bandar Malaysia
(Kuala Lumpur), • Putrajaya, • Labu in Seremban (Negri Sembilan), • Ayer Keroh, • Pagoh in Muar (Johor), • Batu Pahat, • Iskandar Puteri (Johor)
and • Jurong East in Singapore.
PROS AND CONS
Advantages of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR
THE NATION’S ECONOMY Part of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). It is reported that the project will put Malaysia in the league of “mega cities” and bring great opportunities to the people and smaller towns where the HSR stations are located. A business article reported MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd CEO Mohd Nur Ismail Kamal as saying that the project has the potential to have positive longterm economic impact on Malaysia with economic benefits estimated at some RM21 billion in GDP by 2060. The project is also expected
KUALA LUMPUR to create some 111,000 jobs and bring multiple benefits resulting from construction.
There are endless possibilities that can lead to a host of other benefits and advantages like: Increasing the population in the smaller cities and improve the economy of these smaller towns. Modernisation of these once “quaint” towns that can draw and attract more people to these places. Expansion and growth of the
SINGAPORE current “concentrated” city centres, hence, disperse concentration and ease congestion. Better connectivity and accessibility to these smaller towns that will raise living standards and lifestyles of those living in the area. Speedier commute, which works out to be more cost saving to draw Malaysians and Singaporeans together. Improve tourism industry. Singaporeans could benefit by living in Malaysia to enjoy cheaper living costs while earning Singapore dollars. Less congestion – on the roads, on regular train lines and at immigration checkpoints. More time for families to enjoy time together (those with parents working across the borders) and other plus points.
While tremendous benefits are expected, especially for Bandar Malaysia and Iskandar Puteri, the HSR network is also said to establish greater accessibility that will eventually lead to more Malaysians working in Singapore and living in Malaysia. This interconnectedness is expected to benefit Singaporean businesses, enabling such companies to set up manufacturing plants in cheaper locations in Malaysia, yet conduct trade in Singapore via headquarters and such, to enjoy the best of both worlds.
On the other hand, disadvantages could include over development, especially in the towns where HSR stations are situated, greater pollution and destruction of land as development takes place. Additionally, according to some reports, these towns hosting HSR stations were once plantation and farming land. Development may affect food supply in the country.
Nevertheless, only time will tell on this “game changer” expected to impact both nations in and around 2026 once it is completed. Follow our property section next week as we share further insights related to property and the project.
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