Malaysia, Singapore ink High Speed Rail MoU

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 19): The governments of Malaysia and Singapore have today signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the proposed Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project. The MoU precedes a bilateral agreement between both countries by the end of this year.

According to a joint statement by Malaysia's Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) and Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA), the MoU reflects the outcome of extensive discussions between officials from both governments.

"The MoU captures the key points of agreement on the project, which include the technical parameters, commercial model, customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) clearance, safety and security matters, regulatory framework, as well as project management. The MoU will guide the development of a legally-binding bilateral agreement to be signed by both governments towards the end of this year.

"It also reiterates the governments' commitment to ensure that all project tenders are conducted in an open, fair and transparent manner, so as to encourage participation from technology and service providers worldwide," Spad and LTA said.

Spad and LTA said both governments agreed that each would be responsible for the development, construction and maintenance of civil infrastructure and stations in their respective countries.

According to Spad and LTA, MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd and LTA will undertake the task in Malaysia and Singapore respectively. The Malaysian Government wholly owns MyHSR.

"Through international tenders, an assets company (AssetsCo) will be appointed to provide and maintain the HSR trains and its associated systems, such as track, power, signalling and telecommunications.

"Meanwhile, two train operating companies (OpCos) will be appointed to operate the HSR services. OpCo International will operate the cross-border services, such as the express service and the shuttle service, while OpCo Domestic will operate the domestic service within Malaysia," Spad and LTA said.

Both governments agreed to start the HSR operations by around 2026, according to Spad and LTA.