On track

> KL-Sin­ga­pore High Speed Rail – bane or boon for the lo­cal prop­erty in­dus­try

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

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.

PROJECT OVER­VIEW

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.

Email your feed­back and queries to: prop­er­tyqs@ the­sundaily.com

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