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Saturday, April 12, 2008

YTL boss: Bullet train project is environment-friendly

YTL Corp Bhd, a construction and energy group, says the government is supportive of its plan to build a bullet train between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore as it makes economic sense.

It is also a project that the people seem to want, managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh said.

"This project is economically viable, so I think the government will listen to the people and put this project on an urgent basis again.

"Nobody looks at it as a mega project, an artificial project, that you do for prestige," he told reporters after launching the YTL-organised Climate Change Week 2008.

When pressed by reporters as to when he expects to get the greenlight for the project, he said: "I think the government is supportive of this project. We'll see."

The previous transport minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy, had said in January that the government was conducting a social impact study on the project, said to be about RM8 billion, because it involves land acquisition.

"We are for it (the project)," he'd told Reuters in an interview then.

YTL's bullet train plan involves travel time between KL and Singapore being cut to just 90 minutes compared with existing trains which take about seven hours.

Yeoh said the bullet train project would not only save the government "tens of billion ringgit" on fuel subsidies over the long term, but would also cut down the country's carbon emission significantly.

"This is an environment-friendly project," he remarked.

By New Straits Times (by Adeline Paul Raj)

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