KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng questioned today the Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) motive for terminating the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project.
Lim has asked if PN was still interested in governing for the people’s benefit or was more concerned with engaging in a civil war for political survival.
“There is no doubt that Johor will be the greatest loser from the cancelled HSR project,” Lim said in a statement today.
His comments follow the PN government’s decision to terminate the project after the Singapore government had disagreed to changes requested by Malaysia.
“The PN government had wanted to make changes to the rail line, which was not agreed to by Singapore.
“Furthermore, the termination of HSR and compensation highlights Muhyiddin’s (Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) lack of commitment towards open tender and transparency,” said Lim.
The DAP secretary-general also pointed out that the RM320 million compensation is a loss that Malaysia suffered and accused the government of breaking its public promise to continue with the HSR.
“At the moment the people of Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor are still waiting for progress on the alternative project,” he said.
On Monday, Malaysia reportedly paid S$102.8 million (RM320.27 million) to Singapore to compensate for development costs of the HSR project.
According to news reports, Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) and Singapore’s Transport Minister said yesterday that this amount represents a full and final settlement in relation to the termination of the Bilateral Agreement on the HSR project on December 31, 2020,
For the final compensation amount of S$102 million, the ministry said the bulk of it was computed and determined when the republic acceded to Malaysia’s request to suspend the project, and was stipulated in the HSR agreements.
On January 4, the republic’s Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung said the termination compensation involving the HSR project would include various abortive costs, but not land acquisition costs since the value of the land could be recovered.
He said Singapore had spent more than S$270 million (RM833 million) on the project.