Singapore has yet to receive official notification from Malaysia about scrapping HSR project

Singapore has yet to receive official notification from Malaysia about scrapping HSR project

Singapore's Ministry of Transport said on Monday (May 28) it has not received any official notification from Malaysia on its plans to scrap the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project. Vanessa Lim with the story. 

SINGAPORE: Singapore's Ministry of Transport said on Monday (May 28) it has not received any official notification from Malaysia on its plans to scrap the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad confirmed in a press conference on Monday that Malaysia will drop the project, saying that it will not benefit his country.


Responding to Channel NewsAsia's queries, a Ministry of Transport spokesperson said: "We had agreed to proceed with the HSR project based on mutual benefits and obligations set out in the HSR bilateral agreement. 

"We will wait for official communication from Malaysia."

Mahathir had said several times in recent days that his government will review agreements made by the previous administration, including the HSR project, in order to trim a total debt that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has said exceeds RM1 trillion.

In an interview with the Financial Times on Monday, Mahathir said that the project, for which both countries signed an agreement in December 2016, will be dropped so that Malaysia can "avoid being declared bankrupt".

"We need to do away with some of the unnecessary projects, for example the high-speed rail, which is going to cost us RM110 billion and will not earn us a single cent," he said.

This is despite earlier reports stating that the rail link was expected to contribute RM21 billion in gross domestic product to Malaysia and Singapore, as well as create 111,000 jobs by 2060.

Mahathir has acknowledged that breaking the agreement will cost Malaysia "a lot of money".

Mahathir had earlier said that Malaysia was going to look into how it could reduce the cost of any potential exit from the HSR project, and would discuss the matter with Singapore.

Source: CNA/ra(aj)

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