How would you like the news of Kuala Lumpur + Singapore becoming the top 28th in terms of population and 11th in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) in the world? You do not think it’s important? Okay, please skip this article. 🙂 Actually, this is extremely important and I have written about how Singapore and Kuala Lumpur better be closer together because we are both VERY SMALL in comparison to all our neighbouring countries in ASEAN. Yes, we will be connected by the High Speed Rail (HSR). Just a few days ago, I was in JB and I visited KSL Mall. Singaporeans were everywhere. In fact three different stall / shop owners thought my wife and I were Singaporeans. With HSR, it need not be just JB as the closest point, it can be anywhere along the HSR line.
According to MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal in an article in Business Times, he said “We know that it is a potential thing that is going to launch us into the league of mega cities. It creates an opportunity to get the cities where we have stops to grow along and to be part of the mega city. We have seen that happening all over the world.” He gave some examples of positive developments when two cities are connected via the HSR. For example, London-Paris, Tokyo-Osaka and Madrid-Seville. All these cities benefited from faster connections and thus more economically integrated.
What would be the potential long-term economic impact for Malaysia? He shared, “The wider economic benefits stemming from the HSR project is estimated at RM21 billion of GDP in 2060 with 111,000 jobs created based on a World Bank study on other international projects. This is on top of the multiple benefits resulting from the construction, which is estimated at RM70 billion, and the direct and indirect GDP impact of RM29 billion.” What MyHSR is currently doing is thus to work with Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), InvestKL and state agencies as well as sectors to promote investments into all the cities and towns along the corridor including Bandar Malaysia, Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri.
Yes, I personally love news about the HSR and would try to share this excitement with more people. This would be another catalytic project which can create lots of new economic benefits, as long as we continue to benchmark the countries which have done it successfully. Nope, I am definitely not advising anyone to quickly buy properties nearby all these stations. I personally have no such thoughts yet. In fact HSR is not the major catalyst for Iskandar – SG. That major catalyst would have to come from a closer connection instead; extension of Singapore’s MTR into JB. Happy following.
written on 18 Oct 2016
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