Yesterday, Singaporeans took to Facebook to call out Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan for Singapore’s excessive expenditure on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, questioning the disparity between Singapore’s S$300 million to be spent by the end of the year, and Malaysia’s S$15 million to suspend work for another two years.
The furore came after the announcement on Wednesday b Malaysian Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali, who said that Malaysia will have to pay Singapore S$15 million by end-January 2019 for suspending the KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail project. The information was announced at a news conference with Minister Khaw.
In a Facebook page called All Singapore Stuff, netizens shared a post questioning where all the money went, and why there was such a huge difference in the money paid by Singapore.
Why this much difference ah? So, where did all these money go to?
While the HSR is beneficial to both countries and may have its first stop in Singapore, majority of its length spans through Malaysia.
According to the new agreement signed for the HSR to be postponed until May 31, 2020, only if work on the project does not resume on the stipulated date, does Malaysia bear the costs incurred by Singapore in fulfilling the HSR agreement.
On the abortive costs of suspending the project, Mr Khaw also said how work had already commenced to divert utilities for HSR, which will run mostly underground in Singapore. These projects cannot simply be dropped when the project is suspended, he added.
The post online shared by Singaporeans was captioned, “
$300m – $15m = $285 million
“This is actual money that has already been spent, our TAXPAYERS MONEY.”
~ Khaw Boon Wan, Transport Minister, Jul 2018”.