Malaysia's discussions with Singapore to defer the controversial Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project are ongoing, according to a report.
Channel NewsAsia yesterday reported Singapore's Transport Ministry confirming the matter, while stressing the agreement on the project remains intact.
“Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan’s discussion with Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali on Malaysia’s request to defer the HSR project is ongoing.
“The HSR bilateral agreement remains in force, unless Singapore and Malaysia mutually agree to vary it,” the Singapore news network reported the ministry as saying.
This follows Singapore's The Straits Times, citing an unnamed source, reporting on Friday the island nation had agreed to Malaysia's request to defer the project, and were studying the duration of the deferment.
Last week, Azmin said he would meet with Khaw to further discuss the matter, and said their discussions thus far had been “productive.”
Pakatan Harapan, upon taking over Putrajaya, had initially vowed to scrap the HSR, which they claimed would cost RM110 billion due to hidden costs, compared to the RM74 billion estimated by the previous BN administration.
Following further deliberation, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir's cabinet subsequently decided to put it on hold instead.
Terminating the project would entail hefty compensation to Singapore, which Mahathir said would amount to half a billion ringgit.