KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore and Malaysia will ink an agreement on Wednesday (Sep 5) afternoon on the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, with expectations that the development of the link will be postponed.
A statement about the signing ceremony, which was released by the office of Malaysian Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali, did not mention the content of the agreement, but it's expected to confirm that the HSR project will be delayed.
The document will be signed by Azmin and Singapore's Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, according to the statement. It will be witnessed by Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, his Malaysian counterpart Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at the Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya.
It was reported by Malaysian media on Monday that both countries had agreed to postpone the building of the high-speed rail linking Singapore and Kuala Lumpur by two years.
Business weekly The Edge cited sources which said that both countries agreed to postpone the project to May 31, 2020, to allow Malaysia time to review its finances.
Azmin confirmed on Monday that Malaysia will not have to pay any compensation to Singapore during the deferment period, but he did not say for how long the project will be pushed back.
Earlier in May, Dr Mahathir announced that the project would be scrapped entirely, saying that the rail would not benefit Malaysia.
He later said in July that the project would be deferred instead.