Malaysia did not pay any compensation to Singapore for HSR project delay, Putrajaya clarifies

Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the decision to delay the project was made after long deliberations between both countries. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the decision to delay the project was made after long deliberations between both countries. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — No compensations have been paid to Singapore counterparts for the postponement of the KL-Singapore High-speed Rail (HSR) project, Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said today.

Azmin said the decision to delay the project was mutually agreed by both sides.

“Nope. It was mutually agreed to defer to the end of the year. Both sides agreed,” he said when met by reporters after a Ministry of International Trade and Industry event here, referring to the postponement.

He added that the decision to delay the project was made after long deliberations between both countries.

“I’m not aware about other projects, but my focus is on the HSR. Based on principle, both countries have agreed that the project is beneficial to both countries.

“But we need to sit down and discuss the technicalities of the project. We need more time,” he said.

He said if the exercise can be completed in three to four months, both countries will meet again.

“For now, the technical team will meet after Raya,” he said, referring to the one-month Aidilfitri season.

Earlier in May, both countries had agreed to defer the HSR project again until the end of the year.

The construction of the 350km-long rail line was suspended since September 2018 and due to resume at the end of May.

Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin was reported today recommending that the Perikatan Nasional administration prioritise the East-Coast Railway Link (ECRL) over the HSR for the potential economic benefits that one has over the other.

Daim stressed it would make sense to prioritise the ECRL since most of the project is financed by a loan and not directly from the government’s coffers.

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