Clauses allow either Malaysia or Singapore to opt out from HSR: Malaysian minister

PHOTO: Edelman

KUALA LUMPUR: There are clauses that allow either Malaysia or Singapore to opt out of the high-speed rail (HSR) project, said Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

The Economic Affairs Minister said the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) has examined the bilateral agreement between both nations.

Azmin said according to the feedback from the AGC, the matter must be resolved based on the laws, which also involves bilateral negotiations.

"We are looking at all the available options. The bilateral agreement on the HSR provides for either party to cancel the project. This however, is subjected to the terms and conditions of the agreement.

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"I must stress that any agreements inked must be fair and just to both parties," said Azmin in reply to Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (BN-Bagan Datuk), who asked what are the aspects that are being examined after the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur HSR project was being reviewed.

Azmin also said that he will lead a delegation to Singapore soon to have a discussion on the matter and also to safeguard the diplomatic relationship between both countries.

To another question from Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (BN-Pekan), Azmin maintained that the RM110bil is an estimated costing.

Najib had questioned how the Government arrived at the RM110bil figure when international tenders for the 350km-long project will only end this December.

"The open tenders will be looked at and decided by both Governments, which means that the exact cost of the project is not known as the tender is still open.

"When there are international tenders, it will be more competitive. So how did the Government come to the conclusion that the project will cost RM110bil," asked Najib.

He also asked if there were impact studies done on the socio-economic effects with the cancellation of the HSR project.

To this, Azmin said that the costing was done by both his ministry and the Finance Ministry and maintained that "it was just costing" at the moment.

"Of course in any tender processes, there will be some savings. This is why from the beginning, Pakatan Harapan has always asked for all projects to be done via open tender.

"Secondly on the impact studies, that has always been Pakatan's principle, but at this level, based on the advice from the AGC, we must discuss and look at the agreements because our stand is that no project should burden the country," he added.

Here's what the KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail stations could look like

  • Artist's impression of the upcoming Bandar Malaysia High Speed Rail (HSR) station in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Artist's impression of the upcoming Bangi-Putrajaya High Speed Rail station in Malaysia.
  • Artist's impression of the upcoming Seremban High Speed Rail station in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.
  • Artist's impression of the upcoming Melaka High Speed Rail station in Malaysia.
  • Artist's impression of the upcoming Muar High Speed Rail station in Johor, Malaysia.
  • Artist's impression of the upcoming Batu Pahat High Speed Rail station in Johor, Malaysia.
  • Artist's impression of the upcoming Iskandar Puteri High Speed Rail station in Johor, Malaysia.

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