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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Private sector must bear bullet train risk: Najib

ANY risk concerning the proposed Kuala Lumpur-Singapore bullet train project should be borne by the private sector and not have strong government funding, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today.

“There is a proposal (on the project). But it has got to be a private sector initiative, it cannot be a project that has strong government funding.

"The risk has got to be carried out by the private sector,” he told reporters after attending a meeting with the Barisan Nasional members of the Dewan Negara, Dewan Rakyat and State Legislative Assemblies at Putra World Trade Centre.

He said this when asked to comment on the viability of the RM8 billion bullet train proposed by conglomerate YTL Corporation, which is expected to cut travelling time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to just 90 minutes.

Yesterday, Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the government has not reached a decision on the project.

Asked if the bullet train project should stop at Iskandar Malaysia and not proceed to Singapore, Najib said: “We have to wait until the government decides.

"The government has not made any formal decision yet.”

He said this type of project usually goes through the Economic Planning Unit to have its viability assessed and also to determine on the socio-economic benefits.

Asked if the government will decide soon on the project, he added: “I don’t know. It depends on whether the proposal is ready to be considered by the government.”

By Bernama

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