SINGAPORE – The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project has been terminated and Malaysia will have to compensate Singapore for costs already incurred by the latter.
In a statement on Friday (1 January), Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) said Malaysia has “allowed the HSR BA (bilateral agreement) to be terminated, and has to compensate Singapore for costs already incurred by Singapore in fulfilling its obligations under the HSR BA in accordance with the parties’ agreement”.
The ministry also shared that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin had met via videoconference on 2 December to review the status of the HSR Project, including changes proposed by Malaysia to the HSR Project.
In a joint statement on 1 January, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of Malaysia and Singapore said, “In light of the impact of (the) COVID-19 pandemic on the Malaysian economy, the government of Malaysia had proposed several changes to the HSR project. Both governments had conducted several discussions with regard to these changes and had not been able to reach an agreement.
“Therefore, the HSR agreement had lapsed on 31 December 2020.”
They added, “Both countries remain committed to maintain good bilateral relations, and co-operate closely in various fields, including strengthening the connectivity between the two countries.”
About the HSR project
Singapore and Malaysia signed HSR BA in 2016, during the government of ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Construction of the rail network was later suspended from September 2018 to 31 December 2020, at Malaysia’s request. The understanding was that the extension of the suspension period until 31 December would be final.
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