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Mahathir says Singapore knows what Malaysia wants to do with HSR project

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Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday said the government has not yet officially informed Singapore of its decision on the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project.

[PUTRAJAYA] Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday said the government has not yet officially informed Singapore of its decision on the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project.

"We have not given them full notice yet but they know what we want to do," he said.

"Decisions are not so easily made. When we make a decision and announce it, the market reacts negatively. The market apparently likes to be told lies about how good everything is so they will give you good marks. But if we tell them we have discovered a lot of wrongdoings, they react by running away with the money, they stop investing and all that. But in fact what we are doing now is to ensure that this country is financially run properly."

Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said Singapore sent a diplomatic note to Malaysia on June 1 "to seek immediate clarification on Malaysia's position".

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"To date, Singapore has still not received a reply from the Malaysian government," he said, adding that public statements made by Malaysian ministers, and Dr Mahathir - through various press interviews - on the termination of the project "have not been followed through with any official communication to us".

Mr Khaw said: "At this point therefore, we have been left with no choice but to continue performing in accordance with the bilateral agreement, and thus continue to incur more costs."

He added that Singapore has already spent more than S$250 million on the HSR project, and is likely to expend another S$40 million or so by the end of the year.

THE STRAITS TIMES

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