PETALING JAYA: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Mustapa Mohamed said Putrajaya is negotiating with Singapore proposals Malaysia made to improve the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project.
Mustapa, also known as Tok Pa, said the two countries had until Dec 31 to complete the negotiation process.
“The government will make an announcement after a decision has been reached,” he said in a statement today.
FMT had reported that the HSR project was expected to resume without Singapore’s participation, with the new plan for the line to end in Johor Bahru instead of across the causeway.
Reliable sources had told FMT that Putrajaya had informed Singapore of the change in plans, with the line ending in Johor Bahru instead of connecting Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.
The two sources who spoke to FMT were critical of Putrajaya’s latest decision, with one saying it would bring into question the sustainability of the megaproject.
“The HSR was touted as a game changer as it would ensure seamless travel between KL and Singapore in just 90 minutes,” he had said. “This is one of the busiest air routes in the world. So there is demand for the rail link.”
When contacted by FMT, the High Commission of Singapore had said it continued to believe that the HSR project would benefit both countries and reiterated its commitment to fulfilling its obligations under the bilateral agreement.
It added that the project’s construction had been suspended twice at Malaysia’s request, with the final extension ending at the end of the year.
“We will make our best efforts to conclude discussions with Malaysia by Dec 31. However, if by Dec 31 Malaysia does not proceed with the HSR Project, under our agreements with Malaysia, Malaysia will bear the agreed costs incurred by Singapore in fulfilling the HSR bilateral agreement,” it said.