SINGAPORE, July 9 2018 : Singapore is still waiting for an official reply from Malaysia to the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed rail (HSR) project.
The republic, on June 1, requested the Malaysian government, through diplomatic channels, to clarify Malaysia’s position on the project.
Quoting Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon in Parliament today, The Straits Times reported that “to date, Singapore had still not received a reply from the Malaysian Government”.
Khaw said public statements made by Malaysian ministers and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – through various press interviews on the termination of the project, “has not been followed through with any official communication to us”.
“At this point therefore, we have been left with no choice but to continue performing in accordance with the bilateral agreement, and thus continue to incur more costs,” Khaw was quoted as saying.
The report said, in June, Singapore incurred more than S$6 million (S$1=RM2.95); and it expected to incur another S$6 million in July.
“These costs will increase rapidly with time. From August to end-December 2018, we will need to spend at least S$40 million more.
“Because the costs that we have incurred will add to the total amount of compensation, it is in Malaysia’s own interest to officially inform us of its position on the HSR project early, to minimise the amount involved,” Khaw elaborated.
The transport minister also highlighted this consideration to Malaysian Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Azmin Ali “when he called me on June 6”.
Khaw said that Singapore has already spent more than S$250 million on the project.
Earlier, the report said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan told the House that should Malaysia terminate the HSR project, Singapore would deal with the question of compensation for costs incurred in accordance with the binding agreement signed with Malaysia and international law.
“The Singapore government has a duty to safeguard public funds by recovering these costs,” he said. – Bernama