Wednesday, June 13, 2018

HSR uncancellled by Mr Belakang Pusing

The Straits Times (Singapore) - Malaysia-Singapore HSR postponed, not scrapped: PM Mahathir (extracts):

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad seemed to walk back from an earlier decision regarding the high-speed rail (HSR) project between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, telling a Japanese publication that the project had been merely postponed, not cancelled.

Speaking to Nikkei Asian Review on the sidelines of the Future of Asia conference in Tokyo, he said Malaysia cannot afford the project at the moment but signalled that the door is still open.

"We cannot say we will never have high-speed rail in Malaysia. What we can do is we can postpone the project because it is far too costly at this moment," he said.

Tun Dr Mahathir said Malaysia would need an HSR but it is something to consider only in the future.

After being sworn in as prime minister, he had announced on May 28 that Malaysia will be dropping the HSR project with Singapore, saying it was "unnecessary". The decision to axe the RM72 billion (S$24.1 billion) rail link came amid efforts to reduce the government's RM1 trillion debt.

However, in his interview with Nikkei Asian Review, Dr Mahathir said the HSR is merely postponed.

He said: "We actually postponed the implementation of that project.

"High-speed trains are most effective where the distance is very long. But where the distance is short, it doesn't contribute much.

"So we need to rethink high-speed rail."

"We cannot say we will never have high-speed rail in Malaysia - there will be a need for high-speed rail in the future," he said.

The rail link was expected to cut travel time between the two cities from four hours by car currently to 90 minutes when completed in 2026.

The line was to have eight stations: the Jurong East station in Singapore, and on the Malaysian side, Bandar Malaysia, Sepang-Putrajaya, Seremban, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri stations.

I have my suspicions Mahathir has now belakang pusing from his earlier decision to cancel the HSR project, because of:

(1) the humongous hefty harsh penalty-payment to Sing for unilaterally cancelling the bi-national project, or(and)

(2) criticisms of his disdain for public transport network just to promote his car project, hence resurrecting the HSR and more likely the MRT3 as well to mitigate his flabbergasting and very unpopular announcement for a new national car (under his personal project management/directions of course), or(and)

termasuk juga kembalian Proton 2.0  

(3) the Japs have somehow managed to convince him to continue with the project but with new financial arrangements with Japan and of course to use the Japanese Shinkansen.

The third possibility may not be too far-fetch as he has from his previous premiership shows he loves those Japs and by contrast, dislikes China.

Much as I dislike and don't trust him, I have to agree with his assessment of the value of high speed train with respect to longer distance, where the longer the distance between stations the more effective will be the real performance and 'returns' of such high speed train.

It's all in the energy expanded to overcome the initial inertia. Once the HSR moves at cruise speed, it's as effective as a modern jet airliner minus all the tedious hassle of checking and out.

But it takes time to accelerate massive tonnages to the cruise speed thus once reaching that, you wouldn't want to decelerate to stop at various stations and then re-accelerate back again, and then ..... etc etc etc.

It's like driving your car in town and on cross country highways/roads. Your fuel consumption goes up much much more in the former and the associated time taken to go from A to B will generally be that much longer.

Look at the proposed HSR stops between Sing and KL below:

Would an airliner do that?

It's highly efficient and negates the benefits of a HSR.

WTF stop at places like Batu Pahat, Muar, Ayer keroh, Seremban and Putrajaya?

It should have been all the way from Jurong to KL (with Malaysian immigration-custom checks at Jurong, and on the other way at KL) and then another train from JB to KL.

Alternatively, Jurong and JB are to considered as a slow-medium speed sector for the train, with only the high speed sector from JB to KL.

While I recognise Mahathir was right in the value of high speed train with respect to longer distance, I am disappointed he didn't point out the JB-KL distance was good for high speed rail, but only if the intermediate stops were not included in the route. Those smaller stations can be serve by feeder lines. The HSR is not meant for such bullshit go-stop-go-stop-go-stop-etc type of journey.


  1. najib already gone, mahathir please retire. dun wait any longer, yr old way dun suit our new msia.

  2. So...Mahathir the 7th Prime Minister is far more open to input from the public and other stakeholders.
    He has changed his mind or modified his direction on a number of matters since May 9.

    May be early days, but Not the dictator you demonise him to be.

  3. TDM just completed a secret G2G deal with Abe-san for a Yen-denominated loan at 1% interest and no commission fees. Not like the 6% interest and 10% upfront fees that the previous government is famous for. Remember Goldman Sachs?

    Not only that, TDM got special deal for the latest model Shinkansen HSR, not the dodgy Chinese one. Shinkansen has been in operation for 60 years with no safety incident. Chinese HSR was riddled with graft even during construction time.

    This is part of TDM’s grand plan to counterbalance China with Japan. Let’s face it, in East Asia after China the next most powerful country is still Japan. Go Nippon Go !!!

    P/S. but please no more National Car ok?

    1. japs is outdate n obsolete, like mahathir.

  4. Ktemoc is mala fide against the Pakatan Administration, especially Mahathir.

    If he makes a decision without consultation , he is accused of being a dictator.
    If he takes public input into consideration, it is considered belakang pusing.

    I suppose this Dude is nostalgic for the Najib Administration...

  5. Who's idiotic idea was it to have a HSR train with so many stops in between? The normal ETS or KTM train could have suffice for those types of journeys. The real reason not said is that, it was another 1 MDB for the milking with cronies taking a cut whether as contractors or suppliers or arranging loans, sukuks etc.

    The HSR if ever revived should go all the way to Alor Setar in the North and Kota Bahru in the East and with only a few stops in major cities.

    Thus, TDM might have that in mind and this time even if the cost might double, there is a Japanese yen loan as ready and fair financing in order to recoup the cost.

    What belakang pusing or U-turn is Kaytee talking about if it is not to vent the anger and frustration of all those cronies who initially thought HSR will be their goldmine to another get rich fast scheme.

    Wakakakakaka Hard Luck.

    1. Every additional HSR train station adds billions to the cost.
      More leakage to cronies. More construction costs to inflate.

      The HSR was a gigantic corrupt gravy train. IF it is ever resurrected, it must be renegotiated with tough , transparent terms and conditions.

    2. Why doesnt nostro piggy ask cheebye kaytee face2face? I want my char siew lei

  6. There are 3 type of services that HSR will do. Or rather was planned to do.

    An express KL-Sg train
    A transit train from jb to sg
    And a local trains servicing other stations

    Also 350km is the best distance for HSR as with that distance the train would arrive at the destination faster than taking a plane would. So they can charge as much as the plane ticket would. Anything longer than taking the plane is a far more economical and faster.

    The small station are actually really important as MyHSR point out the most popular would be KL-Sg followed by SG-JB, 3rd place is SG-mlk and 4th is KL-seremban