PM to brief Cabinet on possible revival of HSR link to S'pore, says Dr Wee

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is scheduled to brief the Cabinet this Friday (Dec 3) on the possible revival of the shelved Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

"The joint statement by both prime ministers was made after their meeting and it has yet to be brought to Cabinet.

"I anticipate that the Prime Minister will report to Cabinet on the outcome of the meeting between the two of them," the Transport Minister said when wrapping up his ministerial replies on Budget 2022 at the committee stage in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Dec 1).

Dr Wee was referring to the joint press conference held by Ismail Sabri and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong, in conjunction with the launch of the land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL-Land) in Singapore on Monday (Nov 29).

Lee had said that Singapore is open to fresh proposals from Malaysia on the HSR project and that the transport ministries of both nations will discuss the matter.

On Jan 1, 2021, Malaysia and Singapore jointly announced the termination of the HSR project, as both countries failed to reach an agreement on changes proposed by Malaysia before the project agreement lapsed on Dec 31, 2020.

In March this year, Malaysia announced that it had paid SGD$102.8mil (RM316mil) to Singapore for costs incurred for the development of the HSR project and in relation to the extension of its suspension.

Meanwhile, Dr Wee denied claims that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was present during the meeting between Ismail and Lee.

The issue was raised by RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong), who insisted that there were alleged photographs of Najib at the meeting that had gone viral on social media.

"I am puzzled why you are saying that there were others present at the meeting.

"I have already explained clearly that there were only four ministers present and Pekan (Najib) was not there," he said.

Apart from himself, Dr Wee said that among those present were International Trade and Industry Minister (MITI) Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and senior officers from MITI and Wisma Putra.

Asked by Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian) if there was a time frame for negotiations on the revival of the project, Dr Wee said no.

"No time frame or duration has been fixed as it was merely a statement issued by the prime ministers after their meeting," he said.

He said that if there were any further progress on the matter, then other relevant agencies would be roped in to assist in the planning.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong expressed his appreciation to the 22 Members of Parliament who took part in the Budget 2022 debates on the ministry at the committee stage in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Dec 1).

“Thanks also to the MPs who gave their support. The Transport Ministry will continue to give its priority to the people and the country,” he said in a Facebook post.

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