Malaysia has not proposed meeting date with Singapore on HSR: MOT

Malaysia has not proposed meeting date with Singapore on HSR: MOT

SINGAPORE: The Malaysian government has not proposed a meeting date to discuss the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, Singapore's Ministry of Transport (MOT) said on Wednesday (Aug 1). 

Replying to Channel NewsAsia’s query, an MOT spokesperson said that Singapore welcomed Malaysia's suggestion to commence discussions on the project. 

Signed between the two governments in December 2016, the 350km HSR was slated to be operational by the end of 2026.

But Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced he would scrap the project after the new Pakatan Harapan government was elected into power in May. Last month, he said he would seek to postpone it to a later date.

During a recent trip to Singapore, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said that discussions on HSR "will take place very soon".  

On Wednesday, MOT said: “The Singapore Government has requested via diplomatic channels since Jun 1, 2018 that the Malaysian government provide a written response clarifying its position on the HSR Project. 

"The Singapore Government had also requested that if the Malaysian government wished to meet to discuss the HSR Project, the discussions should take place by Jul 31, 2018." 

On Jul 23, Singapore received a letter from Malaysia's Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin that Malaysia "was studying the details of the HSR Project and will commence discussions with Singapore soon", added the spokesperson. 

"We welcome Malaysia’s suggestion to commence discussions." 

On the Rapid Transit System (RTS) project, the MOT spokesperson said that Singapore remains committed to working closely with Malaysia "to ensure the smooth implementation" of the project. 

"We are happy that Malaysia remains committed to the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link Project.

"We have not heard from Malaysia officially on their proposed next steps for the formation of the Joint Venture Company to be the RTS Link Operator, and look forward to receiving their official response soon." 

Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke said on Monday that a working paper on the project linking Johor Bahru to Woodlands will be presented to the Cabinet soon. 

He said that although the government had agreed in principle to the implementation of the RTS project, detailed information about it still needed to be brought to the Cabinet for approval.

Source: CNA/ad(ra)