Dr M says HSR will be dropped

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has today given the clearest indication that his government would scrap the RM100 billion Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project.

He told the Financial Times in an interview that the project would not benefit Malaysia at all.

“We need to do away with some of the unnecessary projects, for example the high-speed rail, which is going to cost us RM110 billion and will not earn us a single cent. That will be dropped,” said Mahathir.

But he added that the government would now have to negotiate with Singapore.

“We have an agreement with Singapore. We have to talk with Singapore about dropping that project.”

Mahathir previously said the government was reviewing the project, saying it would be costly to scrap it as there was an agreement with Singapore.

In early May, MyHSR Corporation, the Finance Ministry-owned firm in charge of the HSR assets at the Malaysian side, said Malaysia would lose an estimated RM209 billion in gross national income (GNI) contribution if the project was called off.

Its CEO Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal said this was calculated based on the spillover effect in the rail and supporting industries as a result of developing HSR capabilities in 2035.

“The government of the day has the full right to decide on it.

“But benefits from this project stem from many different areas, including the planning, construction, operations and maintenance,” he said as quoted by Bernama.