Wednesday, 30 May 2018

(NST) Dr Mahathir firm on decision to scrap HSR

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad remains adamant that the recently-scrapped Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project would not benefit the country’s economy as a whole.

Dr Mahathir, in response to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s opposition towards the cancellation of the project, said the whopping cost would not commensurate with the economic opportunities spurred from the jobs created.

“Even to spend RM60 billion to RM100 billion so that 100,000 people can work is not very efficient,” he said after breaking fast with cabinet ministers and diplomats, here, tonight.

Earlier, Najib urged the government to be transparent in its decision to cancel the HSR project.

He said this was because the project was not created based on the decision of one country alone, but done after careful study on its benefits.

Najib, who took to Facebook to express his disappointment with the “hasty” decision, called for the government to be more transparent and to discuss before making decisions on the matter as it would affect economic and job opportunities for Malaysians.

He said studies also found that Malaysia will benefit most from the project as the majority of the railways are in the country.

He said the integration between the two major cities and economies in Southeast Asia would yield benefits beyond just ticket sales.

Najib also said that cities such as Batu Pahat, Muar, Ayer Keroh, Melaka and Seremban would enjoy double the benefits.