KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia has unveiled the designs of its seven Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) stations which pay homage to the country’s identity and heritage.
The unveiling came at an event on Tuesday (Oct 17) where Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that MyHSR Corporation — the company tasked to implement the project — had started the land acquisition process.
He said the public can view the designs of the stations to get a better “look and feel” of the project and give their responses within three months starting Nov 1.
“This serves as a channel for the public to share their feedback, suggestions or raise any concerns regarding the project and the proposed alignment,” he said.
“I have personally been involved in ensuring that every station design retains a strong reflection of Malaysia’s identity and heritage whilst remaining modern and futuristic.”
Targeted for a roll-out date of 2026, the 350km double-track HSR line will cut land travel time between Malaysia and Singapore to 90 minutes.
There will be six transit stations between the two terminus stations at Bandar Malaysia and Jurong East in Singapore.
The stations are Putrajaya, Seremban (Negeri Sembilan), Ayer Keroh (Malacca), Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri in Johor.
In its current alignment, the HSR will depart Iskandar Puteri and go towards the Tuas Second Link to cross into Singapore.
MyHSR has conceptualised the designs of each station to reflect the diverse heritage, culture and identity of each city along the route.
For example, the Bandar Malaysia station is a reinterpretation of the confluence of the Kuala Lumpur and Gombak rivers.
The Putrajaya station is influenced by the intricate details of Islamic architecture while the Malacca station will carry an image of a merchant ship, symbolising the state’s historical heritage as an important port of call.
The Seremban station meanwhile was inspired by the grandeur of the Sri Menanti royal palace and the tropical greenery of the Malaysia Vision Valley in the state of Negeri Sembilan.
The design of the Muar station will resemble the ‘rehal’, an x-shape platform to place the Quran during recitals.
The Batu Pahat station resembles the Kuda Kepang, a traditional Javanese dance depicting a group of horsemen that is practised in Johor, while the Iskandar Puteri station was inspired by the representation of a handshake.
Mr Najib also said on Tuesday that MyHSR has submitted applications to the relevant authorities to freeze developments in pre-selected areas along the route to allow the company to study the viability of the areas earmarked for the development.
“These areas are further refined to reflect the public’s feedback on the (HSR) alignment. After which, the finalised areas of land will then be acquired for the project,” he said.
MyHSR chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal said that land acquisition will begin in the middle of next year.
He said an application to freeze a 500 metre-wide corridor, following the rail track from the terminus station at Bandar Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur down to the last Malaysian stop in Iskandar Puteri, Johor has been submitted for the project.
However, Mr Nur Ismal will not divulge the budget allocated to MyHSR from the Finance Ministry for land acquisition purposes.
“The amount is not something we can disclose as there will be a discussion with the land owners and the price will be determined at a later stage. We don’t want (the information) to influence them,” he said.
Responding to reports that Hong Kong-listed property developer Country Garden is lobbying the Malaysian government to divert the HSR project and include a station in its mega Forest City housing development in Johor, Mr Nur Ismal said the matter is still under consideration.
“It is currently being weighed by the Land Public Transport Commission. No decision has not been made yet. For now, we have seven stations in Malaysia and one station in Singapore. The current plan is to focus on these stations,” news portal Malaysiakini quoted him as saying.
Similarly, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said the proposal was still under consideration.
“It is too early to discuss now, it is not confirmed yet,” he said. AGENCIES