KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the republic is open to fresh proposals from Malaysia on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project although both countries have previously agreed to terminate the project.
Lee said both countries’ transport ministries would discuss the matter and Singapore looked forward to receiving more details from Malaysia.
“Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob) suggested reviving discussions on the HSL. I responded to the PM that Singapore and Malaysia had previously reached an agreement to terminate the HSR project, and this had been amicably settled and closed.
“Nevertheless, Singapore is open to fresh proposals from Malaysia on the HSR project, and the two ministries of transport will discuss the matter. Singapore looks forward to receiving more details from Malaysia so that we can study them and consider the matter again starting from a clean slate,” he said during a joint press conference with Ismail Sabri today, which was also streamed live via his official Facebook page.
The joint press conference was held in conjunction with the launch of the land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL-Land) in Singapore.
On January 1, 2021, Malaysia and Singapore jointly announced the termination of the HSR project, as both countries failed to reach an agreement on changes proposed by Malaysia before the project agreement lapsed on December 31, 2020.
In March this year, Malaysia announced that it had paid S$102.8 million (RM318 million) to Singapore for costs incurred for the development of the HSR project and in relation to the extension of its suspension.
Meanwhile on the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project, Lee said the construction of the project was ongoing, and both countries looked forward to the system commencing its passenger services by end-2026.
The RTS Link is a four-km cross-border rail project that links the Singapore terminus at the Woodlands North station to the Malaysia terminus in Bukit Chagar, Johor Baru.
It will support a peak capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri later told reporters in Singapore that the discussions on revive the HSR project would be carried out by the two transport ministries and the new proposal would be brought to the Cabinet.
“This is still at a very preliminary stage. We will study in detail. As the previous agreement was terminated, if we were to revisit the project it would require a new agreement,” he said. — Bernama