Sir, the KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) and Johor-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) will improve connectivity for residents and strengthen bilateral ties between Malaysia and Singapore.
This Bill paves the way for its construction and it is heartening to see that we are moving swiftly along to the fruition of this ambitious project. I applaud the government and all the hard work put in to ensure that this project is on track and on schedule.
I only have three quick points of clarifications to raise, based on feedback from the public.
Firstly, clause 8 of the Bill gives powers to LTA to enter land which is not State land or land owned by the LTA, for activities such as construction, maintenance and improvements to infrastructure.
I understand that it is currently unclear if the HSR line will run under any privately-held land in Singapore. Can the Minister shed light on this issue as it is on the minds of many Singaporeans?
If Minister is unable to provide further details at this point, can he at least clarify when such details will be available and whether his Ministry will be doing some form of public consultation with regard to this.
Protecting our green areas
Secondly, can Minister clarify whether the construction of the HSR line will affect any of our green areas? Will EIAs be conducted before the construction of the HSR and will the results of such EIAs be made public and available online?
Cross-border railway security
Lastly, under clause 58, a ‘cross-border railway security agency’ will be designated. Can Minister clarify why there is a need for this new agency?
Can the Minister clarify if the security measures will be enhanced compared with the existing Shuttle Tebrau, operated by KTM (linking Johor Bahru and Singapore)? Would it be comparable to security measures at Changi Airport?
Lastly, as its operations are cross-border, will we be working with relevant Malaysian agencies or persons to carry out its functions?
Sir, notwithstanding the above clarifications, I stand in support of this Bill.