Malaysiakini News

Postponing HSR to 2020 defies logic, argues Abdul Rahman

Published:  |  Modified:

Former minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan has claimed that Putrajaya's agreement to defer the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project to 2020 defies logic.

Previously, he said Pakatan Harapan wanted to scrap the project on the grounds that it is too expensive.

“How come it (the project) can be continued in 2020? Wouldn't the cost increase based on the factors of time and inflation in construction cost?

“Back then, (Harapan) wanted to cancel because it was too expensive. Now, (Harapan) wants to continue when it is more expensive. Not logical,” he tweeted this evening.

Rahman, who headed the BN strategic communications department, also questioned Putrajaya's willingness to fork out RM45 million for a 15-month deferment and incur higher construction cost in 2020.

“The RM45 million paid to Singapore (for deferring the project) can be used to build five primary schools in rural areas or 643 housing units for the poor.

“Harapan needs to get its priorities right,” he added.

Earlier today, Malaysia and Singapore had inked an agreement in Putrajaya to defer the project, initiated by the previous BN administration, until 2020.

Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan told reporters later that Malaysia will bear the deferment costs, which Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali revealed to be around S$15 million (RM45.1 million).

The Singapore minister explained that when a project is suspended or cancelled, abortive costs have to be paid as some contractors have a built-in breakage of terms.

Khaw, who is also Singapore’s coordinating minister for infrastructure, said that Malaysia would have to bear the costs incurred by the republic for the project should Malaysia decide to cancel it after the two-year deferment period.

To a question on the amount that Malaysia would have to pay in the event the project is cancelled, Azmin said he did not want to jump to conclusions as both governments had expressed their commitment to resuming the project after the postponement.

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