Malaysia expects to receive Singapore’s Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (KL-Singapore HSR) compensation claim in the next few weeks.
“Currently, we are still waiting for Singapore to submit the claim to us,” said MyHSR Corporation Sdn Bhd (MyHSR Corp) CEO Datuk Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal as quoted by Bernama.
Once received, a due diligence will have to be conducted to ensure that the claim amount is reasonable and could be verified, he explained.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed had earlier said that Malaysia expects the compensation to be paid to Singapore for the HSR project’s termination to be lower than the $270 million (RM820.76 million) incurred by Singapore.
Mohd Nur Ismal explained that the compensation is not a fine, but a reimbursement for what Singapore had spent for the project but could not reuse.
He revealed that the government has yet to decide on any project, including the much-speculated KL-Johor Bahru line, as replacement for the KL-Singapore HSR project.
“We need to have a thorough study on whatever project that will replace this KL-Singapore HSR project, which is viable on its own,” he said.
He added that the study is set to start soon, and will hopefully be concluded in six months.
“But it depends on how much work need to be done,” he said.
On the possibility of Malaysia having another HSR project with Singapore, MyHSR Corp Chairman Tan Sri Esa Mohamed said Malaysia will continue to explore options at enhancing the HSR connectivity, which includes Singapore rejoining the HSR in future.
“The current chapter is closed, so if there is any future project, it will be under a new agreement,” Esa said.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 1 January 2021 jointly announced the termination of the 350-km HSR project, as the two countries failed to agree on the proposed changes by Malaysia before the 31 December 2020 deadline.
Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung reportedly said that the removal of assets company (AssetsCo) as the project’s systems supplier and network operator was the city-state’s main concern in discussions on Malaysia’s proposed changes.
Mustapa, on the other hand, reportedly said that the removal of the AssetsCo would see the government save up to RM60 billion in government guarantees for a period of 30 years.
Incorporated in 2015, MyHSR Corp is fully-owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated.
It is the project delivery vehicle for the KL-Singapore HSR project, hence, responsible for the project’s development and implementation.
Image source from The Straits Times
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