M'sia says it remains in discussions with S'pore on high-speed rail; island confirms eight new Covid-19 cases - one local

The MOH reported eight Covid-19 cases on Sunday (Nov 29,2020) - seven imported and one in the community. Singapore has reported a total of 58,213 coronavirus cases so far. - The Straits Times/ANN

SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 (Reuters): Malaysia's government has announced that it is still negotiating with Singapore on the implementation of a high-speed rail link between the two neighbours, a little over a month before the deadline for a decision on Dec 31.

Malaysia said it had made several suggestions to "improve" the project linking Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, which analysts have estimated would cost around US$17 billion.

The two countries said in May they would suspend the project, first announced in 2013, to allow discussions on changes.

"The government will make an announcement after a decision is reached and negotiations are completed," Malaysia's minister in charge of the economy, Mustapa Mohamed, said in a brief statement, without elaborating.

On Wednesday (Nov 25), Singapore's transport ministry said Malaysia had proposed some changes and that they have been discussed "in good faith".

The ministry said it will do its best to conclude discussions with Malaysia by the deadline, but stressed that Malaysia will need to bear costs incurred by Singapore if the project ends up being scrapped.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, further progress on the project was also hindered. The pandemic situation in Singapore is well under control while Malaysia has been grappling with recent new clusters in Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Negri Sembilan.

The Straits Times on Sunday reported that there were eight new coronavirus cases confirmed as of Sunday noon (Nov 29), taking Singapore's total to 58,213.

There were seven imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notices on arrival in Singapore.

Sunday's figure also included one community case, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The ministry said based on its investigations so far, the case is a migrant worker residing in the community, and was detected during community surveillance testing of stallholders in and around Tekka Centre on Thursday (Nov 26).

"His serological test result has come back positive, which indicates likely past infection," said MOH.

A total of 58,119 patients have fully recovered from the disease in Singapore.

A total of 32 patients remained in hospital on Saturday (Nov 28), while 25 were recuperating in community facilities.

Globally, the virus outbreak, which began in December last year, has infected more than 62.2 million people. More than 1.45 million people have died.

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