Was the scrapping of the Kuala Lumpur Singapore high-speed rail project a Mahathir-Mukhriz decision?

TTF: Dr Mahathir Mohamad called for a press conference (PC) today after chairing Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM) supreme council meeting. During the PC, he announced the scrapping of the Kuala Lumpur Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project which he alleged would not bring the government a sen. The Prime Minister had by his side both the president and deputy president of PPBM, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Dato’ Seri Mukhriz Mahathir respectively.

Now, while it is quite normal for such announcements to be made at party PCs, I am told that the PC was called specifically to announce the scrapping of the project. And that brings me to my question – since when was Mukhriz a member of the Malaysian Cabinet? Was the scrapping at all a government decision, or was the decision made by members of PPBM’s supreme council?

Care to respond, Mr Prime Minister?

PETALING JAYA: Citing no benefit for Malaysia, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today announced that the Kuala Lumpur Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project will be dropped.

Speaking at a press conference today, Dr Mahathir said the decision to axe the project is final but noted that it will take some time ‘because we have an agreement with Singapore’.

“We have to see the agreement first. I have not seen it yet,” Dr Mahathir said.

With that decision, he informed that Malaysia might have to pay a penalty close to RM500 million to Singapore.

“There is a penalty if Malaysia withdraws from the agreement. I am told it’s almost RM500 million,” he said, adding that he has yet to verify if the figure is in Malaysian Ringgit, US Dollar or Singapore Dollar.

Apart from that, Dr Mahathir said since the project involved a large sum of money, a discussion with Singapore is needed.

Elaborating further on how the project is not going to be beneficial, Dr Mahathir said it will also not make money.

He said the project is only a short track which will only save an hour for those who take the HSR upon completion.

Dr Mahathir was speaking to reporters after chairing Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM) supreme council meeting, here, today.

Earlier, in an interview with the Financial Times, Dr Mahathir referred to the HSR as an ‘unnecessary project’.

“We need to do away with some of the unnecessary projects, for example the HSR, which is going to cost us RM110bn (US$28bn) and will not earn us a single cent. That will be dropped,” he was quoted as saying by the Financial Times.

Source: NST Online

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