M'sian media claims M'sia to proceed with high-speed rail project without S'pore

The HSR project has already been delayed twice at Malaysia's request.

Jason Fan | December 13, 2020, 11:28 PM

Malaysia will proceed with the long-delayed high-speed rail (HSR) project without Singapore, with the track ending in Johor, according to The Malaysian Insight.

The Malaysian media outlet cited an anonymous source, which claimed that Malaysia was prepared to pay Singapore RM300 million (S$99 million) in compensation.

HSR suspended twice at Malaysia's request

In May 2018, the HSR project faced its first roadblock when then-Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that Malaysia will be dropping the project, citing the project's huge costs.

Mahathir's Pakatan Harapan coalition had promised to review all expensive infrastructural projects within Malaysia, including the HSR, if it was elected in the 14th Malaysian general election.

After some back and forth, the project was later deferred, with both countries signing an agreement to delay it for two years.

The commencement date of the HSR service was also delayed to Jan. 1, 2031, from Dec. 31, 2026.

In June 2020, Singapore and Malaysia agreed once again to defer the HSR project until the end of 2020, after Malaysia requested a seven-month extension to allow both sides to discuss and assess Malaysia's proposed changes to the project.

The Malaysia Insight's report comes about two weeks before the deadline is up.

MOT: More details to be announced in due course

This is not the first time the Malaysian media has reported on the country's intention to go at the project alone with Singapore out of the picture.

It was first reported in November that the new Perikatan Nasional government of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has decided to resume the HSR project without Singapore.

Singapore's Ministry of Transport told Mothership that both countries are in discussions on the project, and as communicated previously in the Dec. 2 joint statement by both Prime Ministers, and that further details on the HSR project will be announced through a Joint Statement in due course.

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