SINGAPORE: Malaysia has paid more than S$102 million in compensation to Singapore for the terminated Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, ministers from both countries said on Monday (Mar 29).
The payment of S$102,815,576 (RM320,270,519) has been made to Singapore for costs incurred for the development of the HSR project, and in relation to the extension of suspension of the project, Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung and Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Mustapa Mohamed said in a joint statement.
“The two countries reached an amicable agreement on the amount following a verification process by the Government of Malaysia. This amount represents a full and final settlement in relation to the termination of the bilateral agreement,” the statement read.
“Both countries remain committed to maintaining good relations and fostering close cooperation for the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two countries.”
The project was discontinued after the HSR agreement lapsed on Dec 31, 2020, the Prime Ministers of both countries said in a joint statement on Jan 1.
Singapore’s Ministry of Transport previously said that Malaysia has to compensate Singapore for costs already incurred by Singapore in fulfilling its obligations under the bilateral agreement.
Mr Mustapa had also said that Malaysia would honour its obligations under the agreement, and that both countries would “initiate the necessary” to determine the amount of compensation.
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In September 2018, both sides agreed to postpone the construction of the HSR until end-May last year. Malaysia had to pay Singapore S$15 million for costs incurred in suspending the project.
Malaysia later requested a further seven-month extension until the end of December to allow both sides to discuss and assess Malaysia’s proposed changes to the project.
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The proposed 350km-long HSR line had aimed to reduce travel time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to about 90 minutes by train, from the current 11 hours on existing train services.
Apart from slashing travel time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, it was expected that the rail link would contribute S$6.7 billion (RM21 billion) in gross domestic product to Malaysia and Singapore, as well as create 111,000 jobs by 2060.