Artist’s impression of the HSR terminus in Jurong East.
The decision to defer the construction of the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail (HSR) until May 2020 is unlikely to cause a strain between the relationship of both countries, reported Bernama.
According to Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, the postponement to a reasonable time was mutually agreed. It was not a one-sided move.
“I can understand the concern expressed by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the event both countries can’t achieve any resolution or any agreement on that particular project.”
“But, now, we have reached a decision in a cordial manner. We look forward to resuming the project in 2020 and that was agreed to by both parties,” he told reporters on Tuesday (23 Oct).
Search for properties near the future High Speed Rail terminus in Jurong.
PM Lee had previously said the decision on the HSR could have been a thorny issue between Singapore and Malaysia. But both sides managed to constructively settle it, ultimately consenting to a two-year postponement of the project.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Monday (22 Oct) that the federal government can slash its debt by over RM300 billion ($99.27 billion) if it terminates four large-scale projects.
These consist of the HSR and East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) plus two pipeline projects, namely the Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP) and Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP).
Mr Mahathir also blasted the prior Malaysian administration for undertaking mega developments without first ensuring that the government had sufficient funds.
“If we did not have enough money, we determined how much was the debt level (and) how much could be repaid from the return on investment; that’s the best way,” he added.
Interested in buying property near the future High Speed Rail terminus in Jurong? Check out our step-by-step guide to buying a condo.
Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org