PETALING JAYA: The cost of compensating Singapore for the cancellation of the High-Speed Rail project cannot be revealed, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for economic affairs, Mustapa Mohamed.
In a Facebook post, Mustapa said the government has yet to receive details on the compensation as they would cover certain costs incurred by Singapore for the project.
“We are waiting for the details from Singapore and once we receive them, they will be studied and confirmed. These claims are allowed and have been agreed to.
“But the amount cannot be revealed because under the bilateral agreement, both countries are bound by a secrecy clause.”
Still, he said, the government would discuss the matter with Singapore and try to get the country’s approval to share the information on the compensation.
So, any estimated figures on the compensation were “mere speculation”.
Previously, a government source had told FMT that Malaysia would have to pay Singapore some RM320 million in compensation, although former prime minister Najib Razak said this could rise to RM1 billion, given how much Singapore had spent on the project.
Similarly, Mustapa said, claims of a Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru high-speed rail project were also “speculation” and that the government was now studying the way forward.
He also elaborated on the proposed amendments to the HSR project which Malaysia and Singapore could not agree to.
This, he said, included an HSR model used in Europe, the UK, Japan and South Korea, a new project structure that would provide flexibility in funding the project, and other changes.
“These amendments include changes to the alignment and designs of the station which would have reduced the expenditure by around 30%.
“These proposals can reduce the costs, save time and retain the benefits of the project,” he said, adding that, unfortunately, both parties failed to reach an agreement.
On New Year’s Day, the two governments announced the HSR project had been called off after the bilateral agreement lapsed.- FMT