In view of the country’s goals of reducing debt and ensuring an economically viable project, Malaysia is looking at proposals to reduce the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project cost.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad revealed that it will discuss the matter further with Singapore before the suspension period ends on 31 May 2020, reported Bernama.
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“There are significant economic benefits to enhance public transport connectivity between both countries…However, (the) projects have to be feasible and sustainable,” he said at a joint press conference with his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong following the 9th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat.
In response, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stated that Malaysia’s precautionary steps are understandable and assured that his country still views the project favourably.
“We look forward to receiving the proposals from Malaysia soon, in order to work together with them and find a way forward that will work for both countries.”
Mahathir also revealed that Malaysia is looking at sustainable and affordable alternatives to the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (JB-Sg RTS) project.
Lee once again said Singapore understands Malaysia’s position and would work out the supplemental agreements.
Mahathir also underscored the need to raise the capacity of both countries’ Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine Complexes (CIQs) to address the growing number of persons crossing the causeway.
“With that, Singapore has planned to extend our CIQ further,” stated Lee.
Suspended for six months, the RTS project would involve the attorney generals of the two countries in drafting the agreement, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
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