Someone commented that there are not much benefits to the cities / towns along the High Speed Rail KL – SG. I beg to differ. We are not talking about the same group of targeted travellers actually. Seriously. Let me explain very briefly. The benefits to the cities and towns along the lines could not be taken out of the equation and yet could not be easily estimated and accounted for. A very easy story. There are an estimated 575k cars in Singapore. ALL registered cars, not just by households. Based on the current population, I believe the number of Singaporean households or even Singaporeans with a car is much lower than 10 percent.
In other words, over 90 percent of Singaporeans are ‘carless’. They have an awesome public transportation network, that’s a must by the way. Assuming the remaining 90 percent wants to visit Malaysia but not JB this time because they have been visiting JB non-stop for years actually. Yes, I have asked many Singaporean friends, they do think Malaysia is cheap due the currency but visiting beyond just JB is not easy for those without a car.
One option. Car Rental. They could rent a car for around S$100 (RM300) per day (Toyota Vios, Segment B, not latest model) and this could take 4 people comfortably. They could come into Malaysia for 5 days. That’s RM1,500 in total. Petrol and toll? That’s another easily RM500 perhaps. This is a total of RM2,000 just for the travel part yeah. Everyone would have to pack their stuffs very well because the car boot space is limited. Compare this to the previously estimated cost of RM400 for a HSR KL – SG round trip. Tickets for 4 persons would be RM1,600. In other words, the family of 4 has RM400 to spend for GRAB services.
Actually cost wise, it’s similar but driving would have been extremely tiring for the father. I know because I drive very extensively throughout cities and towns in Malaysia. I have driven to all states in Malaysia and has even driven the trunk roads in Sabah and Sarawak too! Distance wise, SG – KL, that’s easily up to 1,000km to and fro including driving within the city / town which they travelled to. SG to Melaka is 450km to and fro. Driving to KL at a constant speed of 100km per hour would still take easily 4 hours or more. If it’s a holiday season, then expect easily 50 percent more travelling time. When we travel, time is money yeah. Arriving at 9am by starting at 7am versus nearly arriving only near to noon means a few tourist sights and food places wasted… Savvy?
Yes there’s the flight option too but that’s an earlier article here. Do refer and read yeah. Instead of asking should we or should we not? Just look at what our Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) are doing.This is the article in TheStar this morning. Do read for full details yeah. They have even gotten an alternative view on how to proceed with the HSR KL – SG based on a much lower cost. Of course, there are certain trade-offs but frankly, if the cost is down, then the ticket price would be down tremendously too. The car rental prices? Well, that’s not going to come down anytime soon due to the existing car ownership structure in Singapore.
We should also stop thinking that HSR will kill the flights because along the HSR line, there’s just KLIA which has an international airport. I seriously do not think we need airports in most cities and towns. That’s not the main point yeah. We welcome more travellers, not just Singaporeans but also travellers into Singapore who can now even drop by many other cities and towns in Malaysia easily if we are much better connected.
In fact tourism agencies in both countries can even do joint promotions: “DOUBLE YOUR JOY: ONE trip, TWO countries.” Majority have chosen our current government. Let’s let them do their best in deciding the HSR KL – SG final pick among alternatives. Happy investing! Oh yeah, earlier article on this yesterday: 40 minutes extra, RM50billion lower. AlternativeHSR plan. Viable?
written on 18 June 2018
Next suggested article: Biggest jump in eight years. Singapore property prices. Good?