The Malaysian government has yet to decide whether or not to resume the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed rail (HSR) project, given that the project remains in its early stages, Bernama has reported.
According to minister in the prime minister’s department Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, the project was cancelled after the bilateral agreement on the project had lapsed on December 31, 2020. Mustapa however noted during a meeting between prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Singpaore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong that a proposal was raised for the renegotiation of the KL-Singapore HSR project.
“In response, the prime minister of Singapore expressed openness to fresh proposals from Malaysia on the HSR project. I would like to stress that the possibility of reviving the KL-Singapore HSR project is still in the early stages of discussion,” Mustapa said in response to a question by Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng during the minister’s question time segment in Dewan Rakyat.
In terms of the project’s cost, estimates made by Malaysia under the HSR 2.0 (New) model that is being proposed see the latest iteration costing far less than those of HSR 1.0 and HSR 2.0, Mustapa said.
“Under the HSR 2.0 (New) model submitted to Singapore, Malaysia proposed to abolish AssetCo (a private entity to be jointly overseen by both Malaysian and Singaporean governments). Singapore did not agree with the proposal. With that, the bilateral agreement signed on December 13, 2016 was terminated,” Mustapa said.
In light of the cancellation of the KL-Singapore HSR, the Malaysian government has decided to conduct a feasibility study on the KL-Iskandar HSR project. The study that commenced in February 2021 had been completed, and would be presented to Cabinet in the near future for its next move, the minister added.
Mustapa also explained that since 2013, all negotiations involving the HSR project had been led by the minister in the prime minister’s department (Economy) and the economic affairs minister, adding that the Cabinet decided in mid-2020 that he should helm the negotiations with Singapore for the finalising of the project.
“At this time, the government is still in the process of transferring MyHSR Corporation, the special purpose vehicle established to negotiate technical matters involving the HSR project from the purview of the prime minister’s department to the transport ministry. Therefore, all further discussions and negotiations on the project’s direction will be handled by the transport ministry,” Mustapa said.
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