Singapore agrees at Malaysia’s request for the deadline extension
Singapore has finally agreed over the suspension request of HSR (high-speed rail) project for another seven month’s duration. This project is expected to link Kuala Lumpur via high-speed rail line to reduce the overall travel time for people.
As per a recent Facebook post made by Mr Khaw Boon Wan, the Transport Minister of Singapore. The Senior Minister from Malaysia, Azmin Ali, had written to him to discuss regarding proposed extension-related changes for the respective project. He also added that a reliable agreement is necessary to carry out any project between two countries, and this extended suspension will help them to access the changing mindset of Malaysia. Following the bilateral cooperation, Singapore has now decided to suspend the final extension up to 31st December 2020.
In another statement which was posted by Minister for International Trade and Industry of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Azmin, it was made clear that both governments have come to a mutual agreement to delay the discussion to a later time . Note that these upcoming meetings are expected to bring out some proposed changes to the technical as well as commercial aspects of this ongoing HSR project. Mr Azmin also stated that the cabinet of his country had asked him to lead to a discussion with the Singaporean government.
The recent announcement regarding project was made on the exact day of the dateline on which both countries decided to put on hold of the progress for almost 2 years in September 2018.
With this decision, the expected completion date of 350km long rail line is automatically pushed from the year 2026 to 2031.
While talking to the media, the Transport ministry in Singapore revealed that they have already informed the Malaysian government regarding some proposed changes to this project, considering which they have suggested an extension on the final decision.
He also said to the media that Singapore still believes that this project will lead mutual profits for both countries while strengthening connectivity between the public of both countries. The Singapore government is looking for the formal proposal related to any changes in the HSR project and both parties can start further discussions immediately.
On Sunday, Mr Khaw also said that although it is difficult to lead a face to face discussion due to coronavirus pandemic, they will look for the teleconferencing solution to overcome the difficulties. He also added that the ultimate key to the success of this project is the joint commitment towards the mutual trust and vision of this project.
Although HSR project is a complicated project, both sides need to agree on the common changes without undermining the original intensions of leading this project.
This rail line is expected to cut the estimated travelling time between Singapore and the capital city of Malaysia to only 90 minutes. At present, this distance can be covered in 4 hours via car. Although, the cost of this project was too high and could lead to the considerable national debt. Hence, the Malaysian government is looking for some changes in the project guidelines to deal with the implementation cost.
Note that if this deal come to an end, Malaysia would have to reimburse the cost of project implementation to the Singapore government up to the suspension point.