SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Muhyiddin Yassin on Wednesday (2 December) had a video conference call on the Kuala Lumpur–Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) in view of the 31 December deadline for the second and final extension of the suspension of the project.
A joint statement issued by the offices of both prime ministers said, “The Prime Ministers took stock of the progress of discussions, and gained a good understanding of Malaysia’s and Singapore’s respective positions. Both sides will announce further details on the HSR Project through a Joint Statement in due course.”
The statement comes after a Singapore Ministry of Transport (MOT) spokesperson said on 26 November that Malaysia has proposed some changes to the project, and Singapore authorities have been discussing them in good faith with Malaysia.
The spokesperson said, “Singapore continues to believe that the HSR project is beneficial for both countries, and remains fully committed to fulfilling our obligations under the HSR Bilateral Agreement. We will make our best efforts to conclude discussions with Malaysia by 31 December 2020.”
If Malaysia does not proceed with the project by 31 December, it will bear the agreed costs incurred by Singapore under the bilateral agreement, the spokesperson added.
The statement by MOT was in response to queries by Yahoo News Singapore on a report by Malaysian news website Free Malaysia Today (FMT) saying that the Malaysian authorities plan to resume the project without Singapore’s participation and end the track in Johor Bahru.
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