Indonesia has abandoned plans for high-speed rail project — Why haven’t we?

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is glad to see that the Indonesian Government has decided to abandon their plans for a high-speed rail project.

Malaysia has also made plans for a HSR project that will connect Kuala Lumpur and Jurong East in Singapore.

In May of this year, CAP clearly stated that we are against this project being carried out in Malaysia because of several reasons and we still stand by our beliefs. Some of the reasons we cited before include tremendous cost, mass resettlement, high chance of unprofitability, and the fact that this will be a long-ongoing kind of project, etc.

To add to that list of reasons we would like to highlight another good reason that the Indonesian Government has given for dropping the planned HSR project and that is that they will probably never utilize the full speed (300km/ph) of the bullet train. The Indonesian HSR project was intended to have a 763km railway connecting Jakarta and Surabaya. Our railway is only going to be 400km long and there will be 5 stops in between Kuala Lumpur and Jurong East – Seremban, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat and Nusajaya. If the Indonesian Government believes that they aren’t going to fully utilize the planned HSR then what about us?

We would like to reiterate our stand that the Malaysian Government should reconsider the HSR project and focus instead on upgrading and expanding the railway system we already have. The funds intended for the HSR project could go to this upgrade, plus fund other projects that could be more beneficial to the Rakyat.

Letter to the press, 15 September 2015