KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — Malaysia is expected to receive the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (KL-Singapore HSR) compensation claim from Singapore in the next few weeks.
MyHSR Corporation Sdn Bhd (MyHSR Corp) chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal, however, said the claim amount would need to be verified and agreed between the two countries.
“Currently, we are still waiting for Singapore to submit the claim to us. Once it is submitted, we will do our due diligence to ensure that the claim is reasonable and can be verified,” he told a media briefing here, today.
Earlier this week, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said Malaysia holds the view that the amount of compensation needed to be paid to Singapore for the termination of the HSR project is much lower than S$270 million (approximately RM820.76 million) incurred by Singapore.
Mohd Nur Ismal reiterated that the compensation is not a fine, but to reimburse to Singapore on what they had spent but could not reuse.
He said thus far, the government has not committed or decided on any project, including the widely-speculated the KL-Johor Baru line to replace the KL-Singapore HSR project.
“We need to have a thorough study on whatever project that will replace this KL-Singapore HSR project, which is viable on its own,” he said.
He added that the study is expected to start soon, and is hopeful that it would be concluded within six months.
“But it depends on how much works need to be done,” he said.
Asked on the possibility of Malaysia and Singapore having another similar HSR project in the future following the termination of the current one, MyHSR Corp chairman Tan Sri Esa Mohamed said Malaysia will continue to look at options to enhance the HSR connectivity, including Singapore rejoining the HSR in future.
“The current chapter is closed, so if there is any future project, it will be under a new agreement,” said Esa.
On January 1, 2021, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong announced in a joint statement that the 350-km HSR project has been terminated, as both countries failed to reach an agreement on changes proposed by Malaysia before the project agreement lapsed on December 31, 2020.
Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung was reported as saying that removal of assets company (AssetsCo) as the systems supplier and network operator of the project was Singapore’s main concern in discussions over the proposed changes by Malaysia.
On the other hand, Mustapa was reported as saying earlier that the government would be able to save up to RM60 billion in government guarantees over a period of 30 years by not using the services of AssetsCo.
MyHSR Corp is a company incorporated in 2015, wholly owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated.
As the government’s project delivery vehicle for the KL-Singapore HSR project, MyHSR Corp is responsible for the development and implementation of the project. — Bernama