“It’s not beneficial, it’s going to cost us a huge sum of money. We’ll make no money at all from it. It is only a short track. It is only going to save one hour by taking the HSR.” – Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Well, let’s see:
The High-Speed Rail (HSR) Creates Jobs:
Building the high-speed rail will create hundreds of job opportunities. These are highly skilled jobs that will revitalize the domestic rail industries supplying transportation products and services. Many additional jobs are created through the commerce fostered through the economic activity and development which they spark.
Increases Economic Activity:
Every RM and sen invested creates 4 times the economic benefits. Upgrading passenger operations on newly revitalized tracks, bridges and rights of way will spur business productivity along its corridors. More efficient rail services will better connect us economically and help improve our mobility, productivity, efficiency and competitive edge especially with our neighbors.
Reduces Congestion and Boosts Productivity:
Have you ever wondered how much sitting in a traffic jams really costs you and Malaysia?
Here’s the answer:
A World Bank study showed that in 2014, economic losses due to traffic congestion in the Klang Valley was RM20bil – that’s RM54mil a day. The majority of this cost is associated with lost productivity, followed by wasted fuel and environmental damage caused by exhaust fumes.
The report by Malaysia Economic Monitor:
Transforming Urban Transport calculated that the value of the total time lost when people are stuck in traffic jams in Kuala Lumpur, doing nothing productive, ranges from RM10bil to RM20bil annually. Notably, this also amounts to one million wasted hours per day.
The population growth is creating mega-regions that will not prosper unless they can be freed from the stranglehold of highway and airport congestion.
Reduces the Nation’s Dependence on Fuel:
Implementing the high-speed rail project is eight times more energy efficient than airplanes and four times more efficient than automobile use. It will also decrease greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.
As for fuel, RM1bil to RM2bil are wasted because of traffic congestion. This extra petrol burnt means greater environmental and social damage. According to an International Monetary Fund study, the environmental cost to society (primarily due to air pollution) from using one litre of petrol is RM2.20. This adds another RM1bil to RM2.5bil to the annual cost of congestion in Kuala Lumpur.
Expands Travel Choices and Improves Mobility:
High-speed rail can deliver people from one downtown to another as fast as or faster than air travel. The addition of HSR as an integrated part of our transportation system will help airports and highways work better. It will also expand options for the rakyat in rural and small urban communities with increased transfer points and feeder services that connect with new HSR corridors.
Implementing high-speed rail (HSR) will provide Malaysians with more transportation choices. It will also make sure that Malaysia meets the environmental and energy challenges of this century.
Now let’s repeat that statement from Mahathir’s press conference, shall we;
“It’s not beneficial, it’s going to cost us(this im sure is directed to us as tax payers) a huge sum of money. We’ll (WE WHO??) make no money at all from it”(I’ll leave this to you to ponder). It is only a short track. It is only going to save one hour by taking the HSR.”