Malaysia pays RM320.27 million (SG$102.8 million) to Singapore for costs incurred for developing the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project. This amount also includes the extension of its suspension. This announcement was made via a joint statement by both Singapore’s minister for Transport, Ong Ye Kung and Malaysia’s Minister for the Economy.
The two countries reached an amicable agreement on the amount following a verification process by the Malaysian government.
This amount represents a full and final settlement in relation to the termination of the Bilateral Agreement on the HSR project on Dec 31, 2020.
The statement said the Malaysian government had proposed several changes to the HSR project. These changes were in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Malaysian economy.
HSR agreement was “dead” since Pakatan Harapan came to power
The HSR agreement was a point of contention for both countries during the Pakatan Harapan administration.
The previous government had accused the former Prime Minister, Najib Razak, of pandering to Singapore’s “whims”. Another accusation was the HSR was a way for the previous PM to launder his money. All these accusations eventually were proven to be baseless. The former PM’s trial is still on-going. During the trial, there was no mention of the HSR.
The Pakatan Harapan government did have many issues with the Singapore government besides the HSR. During their brief time in power, they brought up water agreements and maritime border disputes. Fortunately for the Singapore government, the Pakatan Harapan administration fell apart in March 2020.
Both countries have since mended political and economic ties.
Today’s joint statement is a testament to that. Both countries remain committed to maintaining good relations and fostering close cooperation for the both countries’ peoples’ mutual benefit, the statement said.