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PM: Malaysia hopes to revive KL-Singapore HSR project

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PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia hopes to accelerate the revival of the completed high-speed rail (HSR) project with Singapore as soon as possible, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong is currently in talks with his Singaporean counterpart S. Iswaran on the matter.

During a question and answer session with various foreign media representatives and Bernama here on Monday (Aug 22), the Prime Minister said that if the project is revived, it would entail some changes, including terms and conditions.

“It is an ongoing discussion. If possible, we want it to be accelerated because Malaysia also has plans to establish HSR between Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.”

“If possible, we want to link Bangkok-KL and KL-Singapore,” he said.

He envisioned that the rail line could reach as far as China, as China and Thailand were also in the process of building a high-speed rail line.

Asked if reviving the project is a priority of his administration, Ismail Sabri said: “Not to say priority, since the planning is already there, from the beginning, from the time of BN (Barisan Nasional), the planning is complete, just stopped for a while.”

Since the cost of raw materials has been increasing, Malaysia may consider reducing the size of the stations to control the total cost of the project.

On November 29, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was reported to have said that the republic is open to any new Malaysian proposal on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project, although both countries had earlier agreed to terminate the project.

Malaysia and Singapore signed bilateral agreements for the HSR project on December 13, 2016. The 350 km rail line was due to be completed by 2026, reducing travel time between the two destinations to 90 minutes.

However, the project was put on the backburner in September 2018 and both sides agreed to shelve the bilateral project worth RM110bil until December 31, 2020.

On January 1, 2021, Malaysia and Singapore jointly announced the completion of the HSR project, as no agreement was reached on Malaysia’s proposed changes and the fact that the agreement had expired on December 31, 2020.

In March 2021, Malaysia announced that it had paid SG$102.8 million to Singapore for the cost incurred by the republic for the development of HSR and the delays involved.

In another matter, the Prime Minister said that the government is investigating the need for a third link between Johor and Singapore in efforts to reduce congestion on the Johor Causeway and the second Link (Linkedua).

“It’s still in the planning stages; we’ll see if it’s necessary,” he said. – Bernama


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Peter Anthony uses Sabah budget debate to apologise for ‘words, actions’ during GE15

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KOTA KINABALU: Parti Kesejahteraan Demoktratik Malaysia (KDM) Chairman Datuk Peter Anthony (Photo) took the opportunity to apologize for any wrong words and actions that may have occurred throughout his campaign leading up to the 15th General Election (GE15).

He was giving his budget debate speech during the state legislature sitting here on Tuesday (Nov. 29), when he apologized without directly referring to any issue or issue.

“The general elections recently concluded and whatever has happened in the past, I hope it stays in the past,” he said.

“We are now in a new government and we hope we can all work together at the state and federal level to budget and move Sabah forward to bring political stability and economic growth,” Peter said.

Representing the party and all its members, he said, “if something wrong was said and done, I apologize.”

On November 5, a riot broke out at the Tenom nomination center when Peter’s nomination was rejected hours after it was accepted by the state Election Commission.

A group of supporters went on a rampage, forcing security forces to use tear gas to disperse the crowd at around 2:00 p.m.

Earlier, Peter spoke about the issues facing his Melalap constituency, which falls under Tenom’s parliamentary seat, including water and electricity supply issues, a lack of shops, economic opportunities and a lack of infrastructure development. .

I hoped that the government would take steps to address these problems, for the betterment of the people of Melalap.

He supported the State Budget 2023 which was introduced in the assembly by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor on Friday (Nov 25).


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PTPTN repayment incentive taken up by over 11,000 S’wak graduates since 2019

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KUCHING: Some 11,095 Sarawakian graduates have benefited from the Yayasan Sarawak Higher Education National Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan repayment incentive since 2019, says Datuk Roland Sagah.

The state’s education, innovation and talent development minister said the incentive has risen to RM36.1 million since it was introduced.

READ ALSO: Budget 2023: Streamline incentives offered, PTPTN borrowers urged

“Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia that provides such an incentive. Another 30 million ringgit has been approved for this incentive next year,” he told the Sarawak Legislative Assembly as he wrapped up business related to his ministry on Tuesday (Nov 29).

Sagah said the 30:30 incentive was part of the state government’s efforts to help ease the burden on Sarawak graduates of repaying their PTPTN student loans.

Under the scheme, the state government will subsidize 30% of the balance of graduates who have already repaid at least 30% of their loans.

For example, it said that a graduate with a loan of RM10,000 must have paid back at least RM3,000 to be eligible for the scheme.

READ ALSO: PTPTN loan discounts a welcome move

“With this, you are eligible for a 30% incentive on the balance of RM7,000, which goes up to RM2,100.

“Therefore, the remaining balance of the graduate’s loan will be RM4,900,” Sagah said, adding that the scheme encouraged graduates to meet their loan repayment obligations.

Sagah also said that the first Yayasan Sarawak International Secondary School (YSISS) in Petra Jaya began operations on April 4 with an initial cohort of 115 students from across the state.

READ ALSO: Abang Johari hopes Yayasan Sarawak International Schools will produce high-level students

“Once fully developed, the campus will have a capacity of 500 students in years seven to 11, which is equivalent to grades one through five,” he said.

It added that the construction of YSISS Kuching at mile 12 of Kuching-Serian Road was scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of next year, while the construction of YSISS Sibu was scheduled to start early next year.

“Both YSISS Bintulu and Miri are currently in the planning stage,” he said.


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Three killed, six injured in car-van collision in Kluang

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KLUANG: Three people were killed and six others injured after an accident involving two vehicles at KM15 Jalan Kluang – Teck Wah Hing here.

Kluang OCPD Asst Comm Bahrin Mohd Noh said the accident happened around 4pm on Monday (November 28), after a 20-year-old driver of a car lost control of the wheels and collided with a van.

“According to the initial investigation, the van was heading towards Kluang from Renggam, while the car was moving in the opposite direction.

“The driver of the car then lost control and skidded into the oncoming lane, causing the collision to occur,” he said in a statement here Monday.

He added that the family of four in the van sustained injuries and is being treated at Kluang Hospital.

“There were four people in the van, including two children between the ages of 11 and 15. They are currently receiving medical treatment at the hospital.

“Meanwhile, the four people in the van are colleagues. Two of them, including the driver, died at the scene, while one more person died while receiving treatment at the hospital,” he said.

He said the deceased are between 17 and 21 years old.

The case is being investigated under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987.


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