Malaysia has paid Singapore $10,2815,576 (S $1) in compensation for the cancellation of the planned high-speed rail project, the Singapore and Malaysian governments said in a joint statement on March 29. The compensation is to cover the cost of the project and to compensate Singapore as agreed.
The joint statement said the two countries settled the issue of compensation by amicable agreement after the Malaysian government verified the cost. The payment also marks the complete termination of the bilateral agreement on high-speed rail between Singapore and Malaysia. The two countries pledged their commitment to maintaining good bilateral relations and to maintain close cooperation for the common interests of the two peoples.
Earlier, Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Yik Kong said that Singapore has already invested about S $27 billion in the Malaysian high-speed rail project. Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (DOT) said on March 29 that the difference between Singapore’s total contribution and the compensation paid by Malaysia was due to the inclusion of land acquisition costs. Since the Government of Singapore can still obtain value from the lots acquired, it will not seek compensation for this part of the cost. The final compensation amount is in line with the actual expenditure of the New Zealand party and the agreement signed by the two parties.
The Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail line was intended to link Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, with Singapore. The Singaporean and Malaysian leaders agreed to build the high-speed rail line during their meeting in January 2013, and signed a bilateral agreement in 2016 to promote the project. In 2018, the Malaysian government decided to extend the high-speed rail project for two years due to economic reasons, but the two countries failed to reach an agreement, and the original agreement was terminated in 2021. (Reporter Sun Mu Ning)