Mahathir confirms high-speed rail project with Singapore to be scrapped

30 May, 2018, 19:30 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Image via The Malaysian Reserve

Most of the line - 335km of it - will be in Malaysia, with the remaining 15km in Singapore. Malaysia's unilateral decision not to proceed with construction means it may now have to compensate Singapore.

Mahathir, who was responding to a question about the ICJ challenge, said Malaysia had "already built structures" on Middle Rock.

"It is our intention to enlarge Middle Rocks so we can form a small island for us", Mahathir told reporters after chairing his second cabinet minister since coming to power in the May 9 general election.

The unanticipated announcement came as both countries this week processed another major about-turn in policy affecting both countries - the new Malaysian government's decision to cancel a multibillion-dollar rail project linking Kuala Lumpur with the Lion City. But of course, why we cancelled the project is because of affordability. It is going to cost a huge sum of money.

Mahathir has reopened an investigation into 1MDB that was suppressed during Najib's rule. Why make enemies with such cavalier talks when we need all the friends in the world to help us rebuild a broken country?

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A computer generated image of the planned high-speed station at Seremban, Malaysia. "We do not want to add on to debts and the pressure on the government", he added. "So one of the ways, of course, is to do away with projects that are not beneficial to the country".

The ministry said the fund would be called Malaysia Hope Fund and provided the name of a local bank and an account number for contributions which it said must be made in cash denominated in the local currency.

U.S. investigators said Mr Najib's associates stole and laundered at least $US4.5 billion ($AU5.97 billion) from the fund.

Dr Walter Theseira, senior lecturer at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, said it would be a "great missed opportunity" for both countries if plans for the HSR were to fall through, as the project would have strengthened both Singapore's and Kuala Lumpur's positions as regional business hubs.

"In reality, an infrastructure project such as the HSR brings about plenty of returns in the form of property value, economic growth, technology transfer, the import of expertise from Singapore, as well as tourism", said Najib. Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng ends the statement by expressing their honest appreciation and gratitude to all Malaysians for all their support and concern.

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