Singapore still in talks with KL on deferring high-speed rail project

  • Malaysian Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said on 3 Sep 18 that an agreement has been reached to postpone the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project without compensation, and that the project would resume once the deferral ends.
  • However, a Singapore Ministry of Transport spokesman said that discussions are still ongoing. Responding to media queries on Datuk Seri Azmin’s remarks, she said: “Malaysia and Singapore are currently in discussions on Malaysia’s request to defer the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail project.”
  • “We hope to reach a mutually acceptable outcome soon,” the spokesman added. Mr Azmin was in Singapore last week for discussions on the subject with Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan.
  • But at the weekend, business publication The Edge reported that both countries had struck an accord to defer the HSR project, with the agreement expected to be formally announced this week.
  • The compromise, reached “in a spirit of good neighbourliness”, will see Malaysia being spared having to pay a MYR500mn penalty for postponing the project, the publication reported in its issue on 3 Sep 18, citing sources.
  • According to The Edge, the 350km line will be deferred for two years, until 31 May 20.
  • On 3 Sep 18, Mr Azmin told reporters the consensus with his Singapore counterpart was reached last week after a series of meetings, and an official agreement would be signed soon in Kuala Lumpur.
  • Mr Azmin said the project delay timeline would be announced only at a later date, with the deferment period agreed to by both sides.

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