KUALA LUMPUR — Hong Kong-listed property developer Country Garden is lobbying the Malaysian government to divert the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project and include a station in its mega Forest City housing development in Johor.
The proposed HSR station will be a transport hub for Johor Baru, similar to Kuala Lumpur’s KL Sentral, a source told the New Straits Times.
“Country Garden expects Forest City to fuel Johor’s growth and the economy in Malaysia and Singapore. Therefore, having a HSR station there will benefit both countries,” said the source.
The source said discussions are currently ongoing between the authorities and stakeholders on the matter, including additional costs of having a station in Forest City.
“Whether there will be a revised proposal for the HSR project, will depend on the outcome of discussions.”
The source added the proposed HSR station in Forest City is expected to cater to tourists and some 700,000 people projected to live in the mega residential and commercial enclave once the project is completed in 20 years.
TODAY attempted to get more details from Mr Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department whose portfolio includes the HSR, but he did not respond to messages.
There was also not reply from Country Garden and MyHSR Corporation, the company responsible for implementing the HSR project.
Targeted for a roll-out date of 2026, the 350km double-track HSR line will cut land travel time between Malaysia and Singapore to 90 minutes.
There will be six transit stations between the two terminus stations at Bandar Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur and Jurong East in Singapore.
Three of the transit stations will be located in Johor, namely Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri.
In its current alignment, the HSR will depart Iskandar Puteri and go towards the Tuas Second Link to cross into Singapore.
“The same alignment can still be used, but the path may be diverted to Forest City before heading to the (second) causeway. The distance could be longer and will cost more for Malaysia. Singapore, however, will not be affected by this move,” said the source.
Forest City will be built on four man-made islands over 20 years. It is set to be one of the largest real estate developments in Asia in terms of the number of properties to be developed.
The estimated investment for the project is RM175 billion. (S$56.2 billion). THE NEW STRAITS TIMES