Mahathir yet to give decision on HSR but believes S’pore knows what M’sia wants

Singapore is incurring costs in the meantime.

By Kayla Wong | July 10, 2018

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is now saying although Malaysia has yet to give Singapore its decision on the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, he believes Singapore knows what Malaysia wants.

According to Today, he made the comments on Tuesday, July 10 — which happens to be his 93rd birthday — at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters where 160 government administration officers were present.

Confirmed decision to drop HSR in media interview

Previously, Mahathir announced Malaysia’s intentions to drop the KL-Singapore HSR project during a May 28 interview with Financial Times, saying that the HSR “is going to cost [them] RM110 billion (S$37 billion) and will not earn [them] a single cent”.

M’sia dropping High Speed Rail project with S’pore

Mahathir has also said in an interview in June with Channel NewsAsia that “it’s not so urgent” to notify Singapore of its decision on the HSR project.

He said:

“Sometimes we make public statements without actually finalising the process.

When we want to make a decision we don’t wait until we inform Singapore, we just say something.

Of course they would want to know, and we will inform them in time.”

Singapore sent request to Malaysia but has not received official statement

Mahathir’s remarks on Tuesday come after Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in Parliament on Monday, June 9, that despite Singapore sending a diplomatic note to Malaysia, it has yet to receive any official statement on Malaysia’s decision on the HSR project.

HSR: No official cancellation from Mahathir means more wastage of resources

More costs incurred by Singapore

Furthermore, Khaw said that the longer Malaysia takes to issue an official reply, the more extra costs will be incurred should they ultimately decide to cancel the project.

From June to end-2018, Singapore is expected to spend at least S$52 million as Singapore is “performing in accordance with the bilateral agreement”.

He also said that if Malaysia fails to give an official response, Singapore can no longer ignore the public statements made by Mahathir and will act according to its rights.

He said:

“We can recover value for some of the expenditure, even if the HSR project does not proceed.

But a significant amount which has been spent, will be completely wasted expenditure, if the project does not proceed.”

Top image via Marina Mahathir/FB

About Kayla Wong

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