MOU is just a memorandum of understanding. Only this afternoon during lunch, one colleague said, ‘The signing of the High Speed Rail (HSR) between Malaysia and Singapore happening today.’ Another colleague asked, ‘Only signed today? I thought signed long time ago?’ I think we need to be very clear. Typically, for any venture to start, like the HSR, both parties would normally start with a Memorandum of Understanding. This is just to ensure that discussions can start properly. Discussions or even negotiations and other stuffs such as who pays for what would then be negotiated HARD, hopefully and once all these are finalised, then they agree on a date to sign an agreement. Just like when we buy a house, paying just the earnest deposit simply meant we are determined to proceed but it is only signing the Sale and Purchase Agreement that our purchase is formalised. Yes, I did explain this to my colleague who replied, ‘whatever.’ Haha. Ok… whatever.
Anyway, reported in many media was about the historic agreement signed between Malaysia and Singapore for the HSR which should be operational by 2026. (Yes, still 10 years away if everything goes according to plan. The distance between KL – Singapore for this HSR is 350-km and it will help to reduce the travelling time to just 90 minutes. Yes, in fact faster than taking a flight. Easily half the time needed for a flight including all the transit times. It will have six transit stations in Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri. It will help to enhance business ties and people to people movements. Hey, we are about to get closer. It was signed during ‘The Annual Leaders’ Retreat’ and both parties discussed on bilateral issues of mutual concern and reviewed progress of existing bilateral cooperation and building on the momentum of discussion held and initiatives agreed during the 2015 Leaders’ Retreat. In 2015, Singapore was Malaysia’s second largest trading partner globally. Last year, total trade between the two countries was recorded at US$59.5 billion (RM190.6 billion). In fact, when we combine both, we may become a mega-city
Are you excited yet? I am supportive. In terms of excitement, I think we can reserve to when we know which country would be the technical delivery partner. Yes, I personally have a guess on which two countries have a better chance. I know, everyone would tell me there’s just one country which will win but do note that unless the agreement is signed, no one knows. The tender has to be called first. It would also be a JOINT decision. Remember all those country to country relationships that we read in all the international news. Yes, it plays an important part too. The construction time is said to be 5 years. In other words, perhaps there are still a lot more areas to cover till then. Please do not buy any homes simple because they are along the HSR route. Buy to stay is okay. Cheers.
written on 13 Dec 2016
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