Selangor Journal
Singaporean Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan speaks during an interview at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Singapore on August 20, 2021. — Picture by REUTERS

Singapore FM: No discussion to revive HSR during 4-day official visit to Malaysia

SINGAPORE, Jan 18 — The revival of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project was not discussed during the republic’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan’s just-ended four-day official visit to Malaysia.

“No, we did not discuss that. We focused on the RTS, the Rapid Transit System that will connect Johor to Singapore,” Dr Balakrishnan responded when asked by the Singapore media on whether the revival of the HSR was discussed during his visit which began on January 15.

The full transcript of the minister’s Doorstop Interview at the conclusion of his official visit to Malaysia was made available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website today.

“The RTS project will be a significant boost for the people and workers on both sides of the Straits of Johor. It will provide for 10,000 passengers every hour.

“So far, based on my discussions with the ministers in Malaysia, they have assured me that they are going all out to ensure that we can meet the deadline of it being completed by the end of 2026. So, that is something to look forward to,” he said.

As for other projects, Dr Balakrishnan said Singapore will wait for proposals from Malaysia, and ‘will keep an open mind.’

“We are on the lookout for new projects or additional projects, which are of mutual benefit to both countries,” he said.

During his visit to Singapore on November 29, 2021, then-Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob suggested reviving discussions on the HSR.

Earlier on January 1, 2021, Malaysia and Singapore jointly announced the termination of the HSR project as both countries failed to reach an agreement on changes proposed by Malaysia before the project agreement lapsed on December 31, 2020.

During his visit which ends today, Balakrishnan had an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

He called on Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir as well as other cabinet ministers including Minister of Transport Anthony Loke.

— Bernama

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