Malaysia suggests reviving discussions on terminated HSR project, Singapore open to fresh proposals: PM Lee

The HSR undertaking, which aimed to cut back journey time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to about 90 minutes, was discontinued after the settlement lapsed on Dec 31, 2020.

In September 2018, each side agreed to postpone the development of the HSR till end-May 2020, after then-Malaysia prime minister Mahathir Mohamad instructed reporters he had thought-about Malaysia’s monetary scenario and the way it could not profit from the undertaking.

Malaysia later requested an extra seven-month extension to enable each side to talk about and assess Malaysia’s proposed modifications to the undertaking.

But each side couldn’t agree on new phrases, together with Malaysia’s request to take away an property firm that may run the railway, and the settlement lapsed. Malaysia paid greater than S$102 million in compensation to Singapore for the terminated undertaking.

Mr Lee mentioned on Monday that the transport ministries from each international locations will talk about the matter, and that Singapore appears to be like ahead to getting more particulars from Malaysia “so that we can study them and consider the matter again, starting from a clean slate”.

Mr Lee mentioned he mentioned different areas of collaboration with Malaysia, together with the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link that’s anticipated to begin passenger providers by the tip of 2026.

“Singapore also continues to support the development of Iskandar Malaysia,” mentioned Mr Lee.

“The 14th Joint Committee for Iskandar Malaysia will convene next month, and I hope that they will be able to give the project another further push.”

The 14th assembly of the Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia, scheduled for January 2019, was postponed after the international locations had been caught in a dispute over maritime borders.

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The committee, which final met in 2017, was arrange in 2007 to research how the 2 international locations might work collectively within the south Johor financial zone of Iskandar. The committee seeks to enhance tourism, transportation and industrial {links} between each international locations.


Mr Lee mentioned he and Mr Ismail Sabri additionally touched briefly on a spread of different bilateral points, a few of which have “existed for some time”.

“It’s natural for such issues to exist between close neighbours who have extensive ties with one another,” he mentioned.

“I told the prime minister that Singapore will continue to approach these issues constructively, and we agreed that we would discuss them in more detail at a later time when we hold a retreat.”

Mr Ismail Sabri mentioned he and Mr Lee agreed on the necessity to resume current bilateral mechanisms, together with the tenth Leaders’ Retreat that was postponed due to the pandemic.

“God willing, we will have our leaders’ retreat in the first quarter of the next year and I look forward to coming back to Singapore,” he mentioned.

Mr Ismail Sabri mentioned such conferences on the ministerial and official ranges ought to resume “as soon as possible”, as this helps guarantee the international locations’ multi-faceted cooperation and “outstanding issues” are saved “on the right track with a positive momentum forward”.

“Subsequently, PM Lee and I will discuss the progress in this bilateral mechanism at our leaders’ retreat,” he added.


Beyond that, Singapore and Malaysia additionally cooperate carefully throughout the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the broader area, Mr Lee mentioned, including that he and Mr Ismail Sabri had participated within the ASEAN-China Special Summit and thirteenth Asia-Europe Meeting Summit.

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Mr Ismail Sabri mentioned he and Mr Lee touched on the scenario in Myanmar and agreed that it’s essential for ASEAN to proceed enjoying a constructive position in facilitating a “durable and peaceful solution” within the pursuits of Myanmar and the bigger ASEAN group.

Myanmar’s junta has but to make progress on an agreed roadmap to restore peace within the nation, following a navy coup that ended a decade of tentative democracy and prompted outrage at house and overseas. ASEAN excluded Myanmar from a current summit.

“We share the same view that it is crucial for Myanmar to cooperate in the implementation of the five-point consensus, and the necessity to preserve the credibility and integrity of ASEAN,” Mr Ismail Sabri mentioned on Monday.

“We look forward to the return of democracy in Myanmar and the participation of Myanmar at the highest level at future summits.”

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