RM100 billion HSR for 100,000 jobs? Not very efficient, Dr M tells Najib

The prime minister responds to his predecessor's claim that the KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project would have created many jobs.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the High-Speed Rail project will not benefit Malaysia.

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has scoffed at his predecessor’s claim that the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, linking Singapore and Malaysia, would have created 100,000 jobs.

Former prime minister Najib Razak had made the claim in a post on his official Facebook page earlier today.

Mahathir reminded Najib that the project could have cost anywhere between RM60 billion and RM100 billion.

“You want to spend RM60 billion to RM100 billion so that 100,000 people can work. That’s not very efficient,” he said at a buka puasa event here.

Najib had also claimed that the HSR would have garnered RM650 billion for Malaysia by 2069.

Asked to comment on this, Mahathir only said: “We are studying it (the report).”

Mahathir had recently indicated that the government would scrap the HSR project as it would not benefit Malaysia.

“We need to do away with some of the unnecessary projects, for example the High-Speed Rail, which is going to cost us RM110 billion and will not earn us a single sen.

“That will be dropped,” he had said in an interview with The Financial Times.

Meanwhile, Mahathir also responded to a statement by PLUS Malaysia Berhad (PLUS) to TV3 that although the original concession agreement was supposed to end tomorrow, it would be extended to Dec 31, 2038 because the government had delayed increasing the tolls.

“We will renegotiate the agreement,” he said.

Mahathir had said last month that a PH government would end toll charges nationwide in stages.

He said tolls would only be abolished based on the contracts the government had signed with concessionaires.

In its election manifesto, PH had vowed to abolish toll collection.

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