Termination of HSR Project

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR Project) has officially been thrown in the water, 4 years after the agreement was signed in 2016.  Multiple changes had been proposed by the Malaysian government following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the two governments were unable to come to an agreement even after several discussions. Prior to the cancellation, the project was twice delayed due to domestic politics in Malaysia. Originally slated to be completed in 2026, plans were eventually pushed to Dec 2031. Bilateral relations remain intact, but tremendous benefits have been lost. Malaysia will be compensating Singapore for the termination of the project. On a more positive note, the JB-Singapore Rapid Transit System still remains on track.

The cancellation of HSR, for which the Singapore terminal was set to be built at Jurong, will not have any immediate effect on the area’s development plans, as they were not contingent on the completion of the HSR. The government may choose to review the plans over a longer period of time to reposition land use to a post-pandemic reality if need be. Regardless, property prices in Jurong are unlikely to be severely affected by the news as the delay that spanned more than 2 years would have allowed the market to prepare itself for this eventual outcome. Other major developments in the pipeline such as the Tuas mega port and Jurong Innovation District are more likely to have a larger impact on property prices in the area.

It is possible that for the next 2 years, land allocated for the HSR will be left vacant, while the government review the proposed plans for the area. Some of these plans include setting up a commercial precinct which comprises 20,000 new homes, a new transport hub as well as plans to boost tourism and hospitality.