The Singapore to Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail link is to face further delay to the end of the year following a request by the Malaysian government.
Initially Singapore to Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail link was to begin in May following a previous holdup in September. The train project was originally suspended in May as Malaysia, saddled with more than $200 billion in debt, reassessed projects agreed under the previous administration
Khaw Boon Wan, Singapore’s transport minister, said on a Facebook post recently that Malaysia had requested the delay to discuss changes to the project.
He said: “As any project change requires our agreement, the extended suspension will allow both countries to assess the changes that Malaysia has in mind. In the spirit of bilateral cooperation, we have agreed to a final extension of the suspension period to 31 December.”
Datuk Seri Azmin, Malaysia’s trade and industry minister, said his country wanted to discuss changes to the “commercial and technical” aspects of the project.
The 350km line aims to reduce travel time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to around 90 minutes, compared with 11 hours using existing services.
Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad had wanted to scrap the project as part of a plan to cut $230bn from the national debt. However, the Malaysian government later decided to suspend it for two years to avoid paying compensation to Singapore.