Azmin confirms no penalty for HSR postponement

(MMO) – Datuk Seri Azmin Ali corroborated today a news report saying Malaysia would not incur a RM500 million penalty for delaying the High Speed Rail with Singapore.

The economic affairs minister told reporters this was agreed during a meeting with his Singaporean counterpart last week.

“After a series of discussions, Singapore has agreed to accept the Malaysian government’s view to postpone the project to a future date, because by then, we are certain the country’s economy would have healed.

“No compensation needs to be paid during this period, and any such payment is only required if at the end of the deferral period, we cancel the project,” he said.

Yesterday, The Edge Markets website published a report citing an anonymous source as saying the penalty will not be applied.

Azmin added that the project will be resumed once the two-year moratorium expires.

The project initiated during the time of Datuk Seri Najib Razak was initially thought dead after Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced its cancellation shortly after taking power.

Following objections from Singapore, however, the HSR went from cancelled to delayed.

The high-speed rail link is set to cover 300 kilometres between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and cut travel time to just 90 minutes.

The project is among those the Pakatan Harapan government has sought to defer or discontinue over a professed lack of funds.