Malaysia Says It Will Axe High-Speed Railway to Singapore

Image via The Malaysian Reserve

"That is, for Singapore to forgo the legal or whatever fees involved in the cancellation of the HSR project", Wah Ng said.

92-year-old Dr Mahathir made history earlier this month by defeating the incumbent at the polls and ushering in Malaysia's first transition of power since independence, at the watershed 2018 Malaysian General Election.

Asked about talk that the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) would be dissolved, Dr Mahathir said the department's position had yet to be discussed at the Cabinet level.

Mahathir, who won a surprise election victory this month against Najib Razak's long-ruling coalition, is seeking to fix the country's finances, which he says deteriorated dramatically after the former government became embroiled in a huge financial scandal.

A significant part of the court's original decision was premised upon the fact that sovereignty over the isle, on which the 19th century Horsburgh Lighthouse is located, tacitly passed onto Singapore as a result of its long-standing control of the outcrop and the waters around it without such actions being challenged by Malaysia.

The absence of the rail connection will make the district less attractive to businesses as the development of the area was dependent on the fruition of the HSR, said International Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong said.

Some Singaporean netizens have expressed disappointment by Malaysia's plans to axe the deal but they also appear to be empathetic to the reasons.

But while it appears that the project was to have brought many benefits to the island republic, it would have done nothing for Malaysia, according to the new Pakatan Harapan led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Mahathir has reopened an investigation into 1MDB that was suppressed during Najib's rule.

Najib said the project would benefit the economy by generating RM650 billion in Gross National Income by 2029 and create 110,000 job opportunities, but Mahathir rebutted him saying it was not "efficient".

Ever since Our Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng announced that we have over RM1 trillion national debt, Malaysians had been heartwarmingly offering ways to help pay off the debt in their own way.

"So we can not (be able) to pay so much money if we continue with the project".

A computer generated image of the planned high-speed station at Seremban, Malaysia.

The 350-km HSR project with the Singapore portion covering 15 km - was scheduled to be completed by 2026.

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