KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — DAP’s Lim Guan Eng is not giving the Barisan Nasional (BN) any breathing space after the latter won back Melaka in a state election last Saturday.
The Opposition lawmaker pressed BN to clarify its election promises, in particular the bid to revive the KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project and noted the conflicting signals sent by the coalition’s federal leaders and those from within the state.
“Two of the BN election promises that BN has kept a loud silence are the revival of the KL-Singapore HSR and reducing the escalating chicken prices which have gone up much higher than during the 22-month Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
“So far neither Cabinet nor the prime minister has commented on this promise to revive the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project.
“Melaka Chief Minister Sulaiman Md Ali publicly declared that he will not allow the HSR to pass through Melaka if the HSR stops in Johor Baru and not in Singapore. Why is there no official word from the federal government?” the Bagan MP said.
The former finance minister went on to explain the PH government had never cancelled the project and instead sought for the postponement to reduce its costs, and that its new route ending in Johor made little economical sense.
Lim said having the HSR project’s current proposed route that stops in Johor as opposed to Singapore, deprives states like Johor, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, and Selangor the economical benefits of being directly connected to the island republic.
“The PH government had agreed to postpone the HSR project for two years until May 2020 by paying an abortive cost of SG$15 million (RM45.1 million) to Singapore,” Lim said.
“This postponement would lessen the huge financial burden of the government following the RM53 billion 1MDB scandal as well as allow the Malaysian government to review the financial architecture of the KL-Singapore HSR to cut costs.
“Unfortunately, the PN and BN government then cancelled the KL-Singapore HSR by paying another RM320 million in compensation to Singapore,” he said.