SINGAPORE, Feb 1, 2019, CNA/nh(hm). The Malaysian government said it has remitted to Singapore the “abortive costs” incurred for the postponement of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR), Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) said on Thursday (Jan 31), reported the Channel NewsAsia.
This comes after a formal agreement between the two countries to postpone the construction of the HSR until end-May 2020. Malaysia has to pay Singapore S$15 million for costs incurred to suspend the project.
The express service is now expected to start by Jan 1, 2031, instead of the original commencement date of Dec 31, 2026.
“We have received confirmation from the Government of Malaysia through diplomatic correspondence that it has remitted to the Government of the Republic of Singapore the payment for abortive costs incurred by Singapore in suspending the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail Project,” an MOT spokesman said in a statement.
The HSR, along with other mega-projects approved by the previous Malaysian government – such as the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) and trans-Sabah gas pipeline – has come under review, as the Pakatan Harapan administration relooks the country’s finances after winning the May general election.
On Tuesday, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that the country would be “impoverished” if it continues with the ECRL.