WE refer to MyHSR Corp chairman Tan Sri Esa Mohamed’s letter on May 19 on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) Project (“HSR plans still on track”, online at bit.ly/star_hsr).
Singapore and Malaysia signed the HSR Bilateral Agreement (BA) in 2016 based on mutually agreed terms, after three years of negotiations and extensive industry engagement.
Malaysia subsequently requested a suspension of the construction of the HSR Project. During the second half of 2020, Malaysia proposed several changes to the HSR Project, including a proposal to do away with the AssetsCo.
The removal of the AssetsCo constituted a fundamental departure from the HSR BA and was not acceptable to Singapore.
The AssetsCo was necessary to ensure that the interests of both countries were protected and to minimise the possibility of any future disputes over the long duration of the project. Then Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung explained our position in detail during our Parliament sitting on Jan 4,2021.
Singapore was looking forward to the mutual benefits that the HSR Project would bring. Nonetheless, we respect Malaysia’s decision to allow the HSR BA to lapse into termination.
Notwithstanding the outcome of this HSR project, Singapore remains open to discussing any new proposal from Malaysia on a high-speed rail between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in good faith, starting from a clean slate.
SINGAPORE HIGH COMMISSION