The surprising thing about this is that not a lot of medias reported on this. Perhaps they just wanted the actual news and not the anticipation. Or they think Iskandar news are no longer that hot? Whatever the reason may be, it is reported that the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia (JMCIM) is looking forward to Singapore announcing the High Speed Rail (HSR) terminus at the upcoming Leaders Retreat. This was announced in a joint statement between both countries in Putrajaya recently. The retreat is pretty soon and will be attended by both the Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Singapore.
What’s so significant with the announcement of the HSR? Well, the real significance is that it may be the injection needed for the next phase of Iskandar. Oversupply currently can be solved if it is clear that both countries would be connected via this High Speed Rail. The announcement would also be able to reaffirm the seriousness of both countries in Iskandar becoming a successful venture for both countries. Both countries have little choice anyway. Iskandar will never happen without Singapore. Yet, without Iskandar, further economic growth in Singapore would have to depend on some other places like Batam which I seriously do not think is anywhere near what Iskandar has to offer. Let’s be very objective in this. Do we seriously believe Singapore can continue growing through land reclamation and even building new centres below the ground versus building just this HSR and connect two markets? Think finance, think time and duration and lastly think longer term cooperation.
Other positive news include the quota for cross-border bus services between Johor and Singapore will be increased from 16 to 20. Yes in other words, this will help increase the number of people going to and fro. Besides this, a new application centre for the Malaysian Automated Clearance System (MACS) has been established in Singapore. This will facilitate the cross-border movement of people and goods. Even more good news? Wait for the announcement after the retreat then.
written on 14 Feb 2015
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