26 August 2013

Iskandar Intra-City Rail Line Plan Scrapped - Aug 2013

According to news, RM1.23 Billion intra-city rail line for Iskandar Malaysia in Johor, as proposed by MASTEEL will be scrapped, said people with first hand knowledge on the matter.

To me, this is a norm for Malaysia Government to stop / amend the original plan as you see from KLIA2 project, for example. Anyway, if the government really wants to focus solely on the more "realistic" project - KL-SG High Speed Rail project, I think they could not simply change plan as the foreign investors would loss confidence in their plan to develop Iskandar Malaysia project, which targeted to be another growing engine for Malaysia economy after Klang Valley.

KUALA LUMPUR: The RM1.23 billion intra-city rail line for Iskandar Malaysia in Johor, as proposed by a private party, will be scrapped, said people with first hand knowledge on the matter.

This is because the government wants to focus on the high-speed rail system linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which will likely have a stop in Iskandar Malaysia, and the Rapid Transit System from Johor Baru to Woodlands, Singapore. 

“It does not make sense to have too many railway lines in Johor. 

It will be congested. We also have the Gemas-Johor Baru double-tracking project coming up,” a source told Business Times. 

Metropolitan Commuter Network (MCN), a 60:40 joint venture between Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd (Masteel) and KUB Malaysia

Bhd, had proposed to build the intra-city rail project. 

The joint venture first mooted the idea in 2009. 

Under the plan, MCN was to build a 30km double-track railway line linking Kulai and Johor Baru city centre and a 50km link between Pasir Gudang and Port of Tanjung Pelepas using the existing alignment. 

The development of the railway line would be similar to the concept undertaken by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd for its light rail transit project in the Klang Valley. 

The source said the MCN proposal was not approved by the Transport Ministry and Minister of Finance Inc. 

“This project is not part and parcel of the government plan to develop the railway infrastructure in Malaysia,” the source said. 

It was also to have come under the publicprivate partnership scheme, where both parties fund the venture. 

Masteel managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tai Hean Leng had said MCN would invest RM300 million to carry out the project, with the remaining RM700 million coming in the form of a government “soft loan”. 

MCN expected to pay the government the RM700 million over an agreed duration, Tai said. 

He also said then the company had not obtained full approval to undertake the project.

Source: http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_News/BTIMES/articles/20130825235758/Article/index_html

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