Malaysia scraps high-speed railway to Singapore to "avoid bankruptcy"

01 June, 2018, 04:14 | Author: Carlos George
  • Mahathir Bin Mohamad

"The abandonment of HSR would also mean that the value of 1MDB's Bandar Malaysia project, which was to be the terminus station of the HSR, would be substantially decreased - diminishing the ability of 1MDB to repay its debts", he added.

The Facebook page of the powerful Sultan of Johor - Malaysia's southernmost state bordering Singapore - previous year published a video of a tiny maritime facility built on Middle Rock.

Planners and civil engineers had already been engaged for the job, he said, while Singapore's Land Transport Authority had also called called for tenders for the design and construction of tunnels and auxiliary facilities for the HSR on Singapore's end.

When asked on the Singapore government's claims that it has not been informed on the cancellation, Dr Mahathir said the press has been informed but Singapore will be told officially soon.

Jotting down his comments on the Facebook site of a news outlet, Richard Koh said there was a need to slow down some developments when Malaysia's finance and economy is "in trouble".

The Malaysian prime minister yesterday cancelled the HSR because the "unnecessary project" would cost "RM110 billion and will not earn us a single sen".

Najib said this is because the project was not created based on the decision of one country alone, but done after careful study on its benefits.

"We have borrowed too much money. 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.

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The new government has said Najib - now being investigated over his role in the 1MDB financial scandal - had over leveraged the country by committing to too many infrastructure projects at the same time.

The Malaysian Government has confirmed that Malaysia would drop the project and would potentially have to pay RM500mil in compensation.

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

Chinese companies were seen as having a high chance of landing a chunk of the project as ties had warmed with Malaysia under Najib.

"The most important thing for us now is to reduce the amount of borrowings by the government".

Singapore did not have an immediate reaction to Wednesday's announcement on the rail project.

However, Koh still hopes the HSR would link Kuala Lumpur and the republic and be extended to Malaysia's northern city of Penang.

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