The governments of Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to extend the deferment of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project to 31 December 2020.
This comes after Malaysia has informed Singapore of its desire to propose some changes to the HSR project, while requesting for a seven-month extension.
The proposed changes covers some of the project’s commercial and technical aspects, said Senior Minister cum International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
He revealed that the two governments will resume discussions on the project in the near future, reported Bernama
On 5 September 2018, Malaysia and Singapore agreed to suspend the project’s construction until 31 May 2020 to find the best way forward for the project.
The Malaysia government, along with MyHSR Corporation Sdn Bhd, have been reviewing the project to identify cost reduction options, like reviewing and optimising the rail’s alignment, station locations as well as business model.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s Transport Ministry said it agreed to a “final extension” of the HSR project in the spirit of bilateral cooperation.
“We look forward to receiving Malaysia’s formal proposal on the changes to the HSR project soon, so that both sides can begin discussions immediately,” said the ministry in a statement.
Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan noted that the extension should provide Malaysia with sufficient time to clarify its proposal and for the two countries to assess the proposed changes’ implications.
“Covid-19 pandemic does inconvenience the discussions but tele-conferencing can largely overcome the difficulty. The key is joint commitment to the project’s vision and mutual trust,” said Khaw, who also serves as Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure, in his Facebook page.
“Nevertheless, the HSR is a complex project, and both sides have to be convinced that the changes do not undermine the original intent of the project…I remain optimistic that an HSR linking our two capitals will benefit both our peoples.”
Image source from My HSR Corp