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No word yet from Malaysia about HSR cancellation: S'pore's Transport Ministry

SINGAPORE'S Ministry of Transport (MOT) issued a statement late on Monday that the Republic has yet to receive any official notification from Malaysia regarding the supposed cancellation of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR).

"We had agreed to proceed with the HSR project based on mutual benefits and obligations set out in the HSR bilateral agreement," said the MOT, adding that it will wait for official word from Malaysia before proceeding.

This follows earlier news reports on Monday that Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad intends to withdraw from the rail project that would have connected the two capital cities in 1½ hours.

"It is a final decision but it will take time because we have an agreement with Singapore. We have to manage it at the least cost possible," said Dr Mahathir at a press conference.

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He first told the Financial Times in an interview published on Monday, ahead of the press conference, that he would drop the HSR.

"We need to do away with some of the unnecessary projects, for example, the high speed rail, which is going to cost us RM110 billion (S$37 billion) and will not earn us a single cent. That will be dropped," he said in the FT interview.

The project, valued by analysts at about RM50 billion or S$17 billion, is out for tender and is scheduled to be completed by 2026.