A penalty of RM500m with HSR scrapping

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Malaysia’s PM Tun Mahathir said the country has to pay RM500 million if it was to cancel the High-Speed Rail project (HSR).

“I am told it is RM500 million,” he said speaking on penalties if Malaysia withdrew from the project.

Mahathir had told the London-based Financial Times that the HSR was one example of “unnecessary projects” and belt-tightening measures were needed to avoid the country being declared bankrupt.

At the press conference, he said he is yet to verify the amount to be paid as the penalty for dropping the rail project.

He said there is an agreement between Malaysia and Singapore on the HSR, and Putrajaya has to negotiate with the city-state.

He was asked whether he can confirm the Financial Time’s report that Malaysia has pulled out of the HSR project.

“It is confirmed,” he said, adding that it will, however, take time for the final scrapping of the project.

The reason Mahathir gave for the scrapping of the HSR is that it will cost Malaysia a lot of money with basically no returns from the operations.

“It is not beneficial to the country. It is only a short track and it will only save us one hour to go to Singapore by HSR,” he said.

He also announced that his party the Party Pribumi Bersatu is studying all the avenues to go to court with electoral fraud cases.

Mahathir had earlier said the Pakatan Harapan coalition will regain seats lost by unethical means during the recently concluded polls.

He said today his party lost many seats – so did the other Pakatan Haparan partners – due to electoral fraud and “ballot boxes that appeared out of nowhere.”

The PM also indicated that the current Electoral Commissioner who made his intentions to resign public, will not be spared.

He said the latter will be prosecuted by the laws of the country if it is found that he did any wrongdoings.