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Singapore to feel loss of high-speed rail link keenly

01 June 2018
Singapore to feel loss of high-speed rail link keenly

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has stood by his decision to call off the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project with Singapore despite receiving criticism by his predecessor Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today. We will make no money at all from the operation.

"So we can not (be able) to pay so much money if we continue with the project".

Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said the Lion City was "happy to agree" to the development, which comes weeks before the ICJ was to hear the review.

"They are our good partners".

"In reality, infrastructure projects such as HSR bring benefits and returns in the form of increase in property values, local economic growth, technology transfer, high-income employment opportunities, more experts into the country from Singapore and tourism, among others".

Another economist, Yeah Kim Leng of Sunway University, said the project could be revived when the country was in a better financial position. The government will revise development plans for the rest of the decade in line with election pledges and will continue projects that have a large impact on the economy, he said. From crowdfunding efforts, to little cash donations and MPs donating their salaries to the government, it looks like everyone really wants to help rebuild Malaysia.

Malaysia and Singapore signed a deal in 2016 to build the railway.

While Malaysia is working out how much it is should compensate her neighbour for pulling out, observers say the loss of the rail connection will have far-reaching consequences for Singapore. "Decisions clouded by emotions will only hurt the people", Najib said.

The planned double-track link between the Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore was set to connect the two in 90 minutes with seven stations in Malaysia and one in Singapore.

"What is being said (claims of losses following cancellation of HSR) remains a hearsay".

Robert Lim suggested the project be fully privatised and be developed by a consortium comprising Malaysian companies instead of canceling the HSR project. "We welcome their patriotic attitude and express our gratitude to them", he said at a press conference after chairing a meeting of the Cabinet at Perdana Putra here.

"Malaysia and Singapore are like siblings and Malaysia is truly going through a financial tsunami".

".I believe by doing so the ruling party would gain a better standing not only among Singaporeans and the people in ASEAN".