Malaysia has revealed plans to send an official representative to Singapore by the end of the month to discuss the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project, and to release an announcement on the matter this week, reported Channel News Asia.
“I’m in communication with our Singaporean counterpart. Last week, I was briefed by our attorney-general and presented the case (to the Cabinet) on Wednesday,” said Malaysian Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali at the EU-Malaysia Trade and Investment Forum 2018 on Monday (16 July).
“We will meet with my counterpart in Singapore soon and will discuss the details.”
In May, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said that his government will cancel the HSR project as it would not benefit the country.
Since the announcement, Singapore has not received a formal notification from Malaysia of its plan to drop the project.
In fact, no reply has been given to the city-state’s diplomatic note sent on 1 June to seek clarification on the issue, revealed Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan in Parliament last week. As such, the cost incurred by Singapore on the project continued to rise rapidly while waiting, noted Khaw.
Preliminary estimates showed that the Singapore Government has spent over $250 million on the HSR project by end-May 2018. Singapore intends to exercise its rights to compensation should the HSR project be terminated.
Speaking at a news conference a day after Khaw’s comments, Dr Mahathir explained that while Malaysia has not given “full notice” to Singapore, the city-state is aware of Malaysia’s intent to scrap the project.
“As far as the Singapore government is concerned, we have not given them full notice yet, but they know what we want to do,” he said.
Senior Content Producer, Christopher Chitty, edited this story