Malaysia, Singapore terminate HSR project

PETALING JAYA: The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project has been terminated after Malaysia and Singapore could not come to an agreement on proposed changes.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in a joint press statement, said the Malaysian government had proposed several changes to the HSR project in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its economy.

"Both governments had conducted several discussions with regard to these changes and had not been able to reach an agreement. Therefore, the HSR Agreement had lapsed on Dec 31,2020.

"Both countries will abide by their respective obligations, and will now proceed with the necessary actions, resulting from this termination of the HSR Agreement.

"Both countries remain committed to maintain good bilateral relations and cooperate closely in various fields, including strengthening the connectivity between the two countries," read the statement on Friday (Jan 1).

In December 2016, both countries signed an agreement to carry out the HSR project.

In September 2018, both governments agreed to suspend construction of the project until May 31 this year to find the best way forward.

In May, both governments agreed to extend the deferment of the HSR to Dec 31.

The Malaysian government had been reviewing the project with MyHSR Corp to identify cost reduction options, such as station locations and business models.

The HSR was targeted to be up and running by 2026 and was expected to cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to just 90 minutes.

The HSR line would have been 350km long, 335km within in Malaysia and 15km in Singapore.

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