Malaysia PM Mahathir Mohamad to drop high-speed rail project with Singapore

30 May, 2018, 19:32 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Dr Mahathir The HSR... it is only a short track. It is not beneficial to

"We need to do away with some of the unnecessary projects, for example the high-speed rail, which is going to cost us RM110bil and will not earn us a single cent".

Meanwhile, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) deputy chairman, Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman, said both projects should continue to ensure that Malaysia's public transportation system remains on the best platform.

"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 Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR is not inspired by the decision made by one country only", he said.

The Singapore government has also invested a fair bit in planning and early projections for the project such as engaging planners and civil engineers, said Azman Jaafar, deputy managing partner of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing and chairman of Asean Plus Group.

He added: "When Malaysia requested to discontinue the cases, without them being argued, we were happy to agree".

A significant part of the court's original decision was premised upon the fact that sovereignty over the isle, on which the 19th century Horsburgh Lighthouse is located, tacitly passed onto Singapore as a result of its long-standing control of the outcrop and the waters around it without such actions being challenged by Malaysia.

At the press conference where he announced that Malaysia is pulling out of the multibillion-dollar project, Dr Mahathir was asked whether the decision has been communicated to Singapore. But of course, why we cancelled the project is because of affordability. "If we break the agreement, we have to pay a very large sum of money". "We'll make no money at all from this arrangement".

Mahathir has reopened an investigation into 1MDB that was suppressed during Najib's rule.

Its president, Prof Dr Mohamed Rehan Karim, said the government's decision is apt given the country's high debt level.

Both developments are likely to alarm the Singapore government, already wary of Mahathir's return as ties between the neighbours were famously stormy during his first stint as premier from 1981-2003.

Najib also expressed his disappointment at Dr Mahathir who he claimed had failed to see the benefits beyond ticket sales.

Loke said a separate metro link connecting Singapore's northern township of Woodlands and Malaysia's southern city of Johor Bahru will go ahead as planned.

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