Malaysia, Singapore to discuss high-speed rail by end July: Azmin Ali

Malaysia, Singapore to discuss high-speed rail by end July: Azmin Ali

HSR blueprint Malaysia station
An artist's impression of a KL-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) station. (Photo: MyHSR) 

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will send an official representative to Singapore to discuss the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project by the end of the month, said Malaysian Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali on Monday (Jul 16).

"I'm in communication with our Singaporean counterpart. Last week, I was briefed by our attorney-general and presented the case (to the Cabinet) on Wednesday.

"We will meet with my counterpart in Singapore soon and will discuss the details," he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the EU-Malaysia Trade and Investment Forum 2018 on Monday.

Azmin added that an announcement on the matter will be made this week.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said at a press conference in May that his government will drop the HSR project, saying it would not benefit Malaysia. 

Since the announcement was made, Singapore has not received any formal notification of Malaysia's plans to scrap the project.

Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in Parliament last week that there has been no reply to Singapore’s diplomatic note sent on Jun 1 to seek clarification on the matter. While waiting, the costs incurred continue to rise rapidly, added Mr Khaw.

Based on preliminary estimates, the Singapore Government has spent more than S$250 million on the HSR project by the end of May this year.

A day after Mr Khaw's comments in Parliament, Dr Mahathir said at a news conference that while Malaysia has not given Singapore "full notice", Singapore is aware of its neighbour's intentions to cancel the project.

"As far as the Singapore government is concerned, we have not given them full notice yet, but they know what we want to do," he said on Jul 10.

Singapore has said it will exercise its rights to compensation if the HSR project was terminated.

Source: Agencies/aa/(gs)