JOHOR BARU, March 2 — Perikatan Nasional (PN) would support the revival of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project between Malaysia and Singapore if the coalition were to win the state election.
Its chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he had expressed support for the project even when he was the prime minister, claiming that the HSR would be beneficial for both countries.
“HSR is good for the country and for Singapore. If Singapore wants to come back (to renegotiate), it will however not be on the same basis or arrangement made during Najib’s time (former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak).
“I do believe that this (HSR) is a game changer. I have said that before and I will say it again. Yes, it is a game changer. We (PN) want to do it,” he told reporters after launching Ikrar PN Demi Bangsa Johor here today.
Muhyiddin, who is also Bersatu’s president, said this when asked whether PN would support the revival of the multi-billion ringgit HSR project.
The Pagoh MP also claimed that when he was the prime minister, he had also looked at several models should Singapore not participate in the project.
The main terms of the HSR project, according to him, should be renegotiated if Singapore chooses to reopen talks on it, though the project will still be viable even without the republic’s participation.
“Even if Singapore is not participating, we have calculated via HSR Sdn Bhd that it is (HSR) still viable. But, it will take a bit more time to recover the cost of HSR.
“I also had the idea of moving (extending the HSR) not just up to Kuala Lumpur, but we want to move up north to Bangkok and even to some other countries (than Thailand) in the region. That is part of the plan,” he said.
On Jan 1 last year, 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 Dec 31, 2020.
As a result, Malaysia paid S$102.8 million (RM320.27 million) to Singapore for costs incurred for the development of the HSR project and in relation to the extension of its suspension.
Less than a year after the termination, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had suggested to his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong during his official visit to the island republic in November last year to revive the project. — Bernama