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Alternative to HSR KL – SG is not High Speed Rail KL – JB yeah.

I think if you are interested with the HSR KL – SG news, you would have read many news, many GREAT comments and even lots of those saying that Malaysia IS THE ONLY SIDE who stands to lose everything if they cancel this HSR KL – SG. I do not think this is true yeah.

Let us understand again, IF HSR KL – SG benefits only Malaysia or benefits Malaysia MUCH MUCH more than Singapore, do we believe it would have been agreed by our neighbour? Erm… I think even Singapore believes that this will benefit them greatly okay.

This HSRKL- SG was definitely not agreed just because of any CLOSE friendship between the two governments (whichever you think is / was the one) yeah. So, since we now know that BOTH sides would lose something, let’s move on.

Photo by Albin Berlin on

If HSR KL – SG starts operating, we would have gotten so many multiplier effects, especially from people travelling between KL – SG and all the stops along the way. Both countries could even be more competitive since the foreign companies thinking of setting up either in KL or SG can now set up their operations in KL AND SG. This is positive for both countries yeah, since that foreign company could also choose between Bangkok and Jakarta too…

Actually, now that it is officially cancelled, we would need a plan moving forward. We can continue debating on why cancel, why not discuss more, why Malaysian government cancel, why Singaporean government did not agree to the changes and WHATEVER. It’s cancelled. Period. Now, the alternative / replacement to this HSR KL – SG is NOT a HSR KL – JB yeah. Definitely no-go for a bullet train from KL to JB.

Just need an alternative plan (better come out with one soon)

No Bullet Train, however, we already have an existing train track yeah. All over Peninsular Malaysia, really. Some parts of it have the ETS. My parents take that everytime they come visiting me. I have also taken it a few times too. Anyone who’s been on a ETS train would also sing praises too about it’s quietness as well as speed, if compared to driving above the 110km per hour speed all the way from Ipoh to KL for example.

ETS the whole track instead

I do think somewhere along the discussions, someone mentioned that instead of High Speed Rail, we can do a HIGHER Speed Rail instead. (Go google who said that as well) Making the whole line an ETS line will be much cheaper BUT of course, the travel time is now longer. ETS’s top speed is 140km per hour. KL to JB is around 350km. Thus, if we take the ETS, we could arrive in JB in slightly less than 180 minutes, non stop. I know, this is much slower than the 90 minuteKL – SG trip yeah. We are already talking about two different things here.


I do have a lot more thoughts on this but I guess let’s see what is the next few announcements to get a bit more idea. By the way, anyone thinking that with this cancellation, Malaysia will be GREATLY affected but NOTHING happnes to Singapore at all, happy thinking. It’s not true. Together, we would have been more formidable versus all other ASEAN members. Meanwhile if separated, we will just have to make sure JB – SG is very well connected. That’s the most vital part if we are talking about JB – SG multiplier effects. HSR was not meant to be a Iskandar catalyst. It’s a KL and SG catalyst yeah.

Happy New Year and I personally do not think this decision will cause us too much changes in economic growth because this was actually DELAYED for 5 years previously versus starting in 2026 as per originally planned. Remember? Stay safe and social distancing remains compulsory even if your state is under RMCO currently.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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