KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — Malaysia will not pay any compensation to Singapore for the deferment of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project as the decision was mutually agreed, said Senior Minister cum International Trade and Industry Minister (Miti) Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
Azmin, who leads Malaysia’s side in the HSR discussion with Singapore, said teams from both countries would meet after Hari Raya to further deliberate on the technical aspects of the mega project.
“In principle, we’ve agreed that this particular project is beneficial to both countries but we need to sit down and discuss the technicalities of this project.
“So, we need more time. If we can conclude the whole exercise within 3-4 months, certainly we will meet again,” he told reporters after officiating Miti’s 2019 Excellence Awards ceremony here today.
On May 31, both governments agreed to defer the construction of the RM110 billion bilateral project again until December 31, 2020.
The 350km-long project had been suspended since September 2018 and was set to resume at end-May 2020.
It was the second time the HSR has been suspended with Malaysia remitted SG$15 million to Singapore to cover the costs of the delayed project.
“The mandate was given to us when we deferred the project in 2018 until 2020 was to look again at the costing of the project (such as) new alignments and new design.
“Alhamdulillah, we’re able to reduced (the cost) substantially for HSR, but now we have agreed to continue the project (to resume after being deferred the first time),” he said.
Asked on whether the government has enough allocation to pay any additional cost arising from the second deferment, Azmin said: “for that allocation, we need to discuss again.”
“The question of funding for the project will be discussed because the country’s fiscal ability now is definitely limited,” he added.