Over 100 specialists hired for KL-Singapore HSR project to be offered alternative jobs in LTA

Over 100 specialists hired for KL-Singapore HSR project to be offered alternative jobs in LTA

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

SINGAPORE: A team of more than 100 specialists hired by Land Transport Authority's infrastructure arm to work on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail project will be offered alternative jobs within the government agency, SG HSR said on Wednesday (Sep 5).

This follows the formal announcement by Singapore and Malaysia earlier on Wednesday that construction of the HSR will be postponed until end-May 2020.

“During the period of suspension, SG HSR staff will be offered alternative job roles in LTA,” SG HSR said.

SG HSR was set up last year to own, fund and maintain HSR's civil infrastructure in the country.

READ: Singapore's financial interests 'absolutely safeguarded': Vivian Balakrishnan on HSR project

“We are confident that they will continue to contribute effectively in the LTA family in the roles that we take up during this suspension period,” SG HSR said.

During the period of suspension, SG HSR also said that it will continue to work closely with government agencies and external stakeholders to manage operations, including following up on existing contracts and ongoing tenders.

“Subsequently, SG HSR’s work is expected to be scaled down until the HSR project resumes,” it added.

READ: 'Greater clarity' on way forward for KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail project: Khaw

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) clarified that the abortive costs of S$15 million, which Malaysia has to pay Singapore by January next year, pertain to the fees incurred by Singapore to suspend the HSR project.

“These are costs that will be incurred by Singapore to pay contractors to terminate ongoing contracts and to wind down operations during the suspension period,” the ministry explained.

“For example, some contracts include contract breakage costs, which need to be paid as a result of this suspension.

“These are ‘abortive’ costs, as they are not useful for the HSR project after it resumes.”

The ministry added that these costs are different from the total cost incurred by the Singapore Government for the HSR Project, which had already exceeded S$250 million by the end of May.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan gave this figure in a Parliamentary reply in July.

“These are not abortive costs as they can still be used for the HSR Project after it resumes,” MOT said.

READ: KL-Singapore HSR: What you need to know

Source: CNA/ad