Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan today (June 1) openly threatened Malaysia vowing to make Malaysia pay for expenses in addition to the contracted compensation clause of US$125 million:
“Should Malaysia cancel the project, Singapore will study the implications and exercise its rights – including any right to compensation for expenses – in accordance with the terms of a bilateral agreement signed in 2016.”
The ex-Malaysian PAP Minister complained to local state media saying that his Singapore government is “incurring costs” on the High Speed Rail link to Singapore, and blamed Malaysia for not responding to his request for clarification:
“Singapore has requested the Malaysian government through diplomatic channels to clarify Malaysia’s position on the project. We have also informed Malaysia that Singapore is continuing to incur costs.”
Newly-elected Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has made the abolition of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project his priority, after founding out that the country is in debt of more than RM1 trillion.
The removal of the HSR however seriously jeopardised Singapore’s original plan to create a second Central Business District at the western suburb region of Jurong. Singapore has earlier removed the Tanjong Pagar Terminal port and relocated to Tuas, in anticipation of the HSR development in Jurong. The Singapore government also paid tens of billions acquiring over 12 hectares of land from a golf club and several residential developments.
Aside from the government, investors who had poured millions in property and commercial investments are also disappointed after hearing from Mahathir that the HSR would be scrapped. According to the state media, the land would likely be left vacated until Malaysia “re-visit” their decision on a HSR when their financials improved.