Singaporeans shower praise upon Mahathir for scrapping KL-Singapore HSR project

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Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad confirmed widespread speculation today and announced that Malaysia is pulling out if the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project. In a press meet today, Dr Mahathir said that the project will not benefit Malaysia which is over one trillion ringgit in debt, largely thanks to the scandalous 1MDB project launched by toppled leader Najib Razak.

Dr Mahathir said: “It is a final decision, but it will take time because we have an agreement with Singapore…It’s not beneficial. It’s going to cost us a huge sum of money. We’ll make no money at all from this arrangement. He added: “(The HSR) is only a short track. It is only going to save people one hour by taking the HSR.”

When asked whether the decision has been communicated to Singapore, Dr Mahathir told reporters, “I don’t know.” He added that Malaysia will discuss the issue with Singapore in the future.

The Ministry of Transport here has yet to respond to Dr Mahathir’s announcement. Helmed by Khaw Boon Wan, the Ministry had set aside S$3 billion in its budget for FY2018 for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) and the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link.

In December 2016, Singapore and Malaysia signed an agreement to build a multi-billion dollar, 350km high-speed rail link between the two countries. The HSR project has been a shot in the arm for developments in and around the Jurong Lake District area. But some have speculated that the election of Dr Mahathir and his coalition is likely to have a dampening effect on developments around the Jurong Lake District area.

Shortly after winning the election across the Causeway in a stunning upset, Dr Mahathir said that his government will find out how it can reduce the amount of money it has to pay to Singapore if it needs to drop the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur HSR project: “The terms and agreement for the HSR are such that if we decide to drop the project, it would cost us a lot of money. We have entered into an agreement with Singapore. If we break the agreement, we have to pay a very large sum of money.”

Dr Mahathir’s announcement that Malaysia is definitely scrapping the project comes after he shared that the move is necessary to “avoid being declared bankrupt” in an interview with the Financial Times. The 92-year-old veteran politician said: “We need to do away with some of the unnecessary projects, for example the high-speed rail, which is going to cost us RM110 billion (US$28 billion) and will not earn us a single cent. That will be dropped.”

Dr Mahathir is also reportedly planning on holding discussions with the Chinese government about renegotiating “unequal treaties” such as the East Coast Rail Link – a Chinese-backed project that costs a whopping US$14 billion.

These initiatives are among the large projects and government agencies launched by Najib that were “not necessary at all”, according to Dr Mahathir. He added: “Mostly it was about trying to make the prime minister popular and it cost billions of dollars.”

While some Singaporeans expressed concerns that Malaysia pulling out of the HSR project will affect Singapore developments, more people here appear to have showered praise upon Dr Mahathir for taking such a stance. Some even urged Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to follow the lead of his counterpart across the causeway and scrap the Changi Airport Terminal 5 project:

Mahathir fails to give a hard “No” to the HSR project

 

183 COMMENTS

  1. Desperate times calls for desperate measurements, it is at times like this Singapore Goverment should be more understanding and supportive towards Malaysia, understand their situation, perhaps one day in the near future, this will be a reality, going fourth LHL should also scrap the idea of building Terminal 5, this is a unnecessary burden on the citizens. LHL should learn from a wise man like Dr.M and for once have a heart for its citizens and stop robbing us….

  2. Not much major impact cos Jurong Lake District will still continue to be developed as Spore 2nd CBD. Spore Govt just have to build something else in place of the HSR Terminus in the 2nd CBD. I suggest then that the future Jurong Town Hall MRT Station under the Jurong Regional Line take over this location. If got some more space, build more condos or hotels.

  3. Sg gov saying burdened by current many big projects, wonder who’s the finance n planning Mp and approved by who? for worst knowing My G.E. was just round the corner, somebody rushed to sign the HSR deal with a durian celebration! then karBoom bubble burst. Foresight and strategy failed big time.

  4. The big picture is not just about Kl and Singapore..China is linking the rail communication from china to Europe via Malaysia Thailand Indo China and Myanmar. This is a trade pool and tourism money for Singapore. Now that opportunity is bygone.

    • Tun M obligations is primary the rakyat first who has to foot the bill via taxes. Rightly he has to inform his country first then tell Singapore – not the other way round where his country man hear it later or indirectly from Singapore friends

    • Let me pose this to you Soo Tommy Leong. You think our white shirts have been respectful to we the citizen of Spore?

      They want a president of their choice, they went ahead with it, they want to increase gst, they just do it, water tariff increased by 30%, so what Sporeans?, increase after increase. They are also going ti charged us for T5 whether you travel or not. Did they inform us before They do it? No, they don’t care. They don’t respect us. Now the sinkies have a taste of their own medicine, not from Singapooreans (because nobody can go against them), only those from from outside SG can.

    • Our infrastructure to accommodate increasing population is already a issue not resolved. Why are they building Airport & Train station to bring in more people? My humble opinion
      Make Home’s and living standards affordable for your people, eventually they will make more babies and many issues will be solved.

  5. Bro, peace bro, Dr M does not anti Singapore you look at his age now he himself told he don’t have much time, he just want to repair Malaysia economy before he close his eyes. Does he tell the reporter I want to go war with Singapore nope, do your research bro even most Singaporean in this comment agree.

  6. Malaysia can build their own HSR…from JB to Kangar…after Harapan had recovered all the corrupted monies…and paid up her debt. No need to join venture with Sg…Singaporean and Malaysian in Sg. ..who need to take the train can just go over to JB.

  7. Mr Lim kindly enlighten us how is Dr M anti Singapore? He is the leader of Malaysia, of course he has to do things in the interest of Malaysia. Unlike the current government we have, Malaysia has one that is truly elected by the people.

  8. For many Singaporean working class, this may be good as it restrict more capable talent pool to compete here easily.

    As for economy, HSR will surely add + % point to GDP.

    Poor LHL, another of his mega project fall off & not much to boost his scorecard.

  9. He is 92 years old already. What makes you think he still got grudge against Singapore? He just wants to rescue Malaysia due to cruel rulings from Jibby .. I think you lah Ken Lim that is anti Singapore.. live and let live, move forward and let’s come together to vote them white out!

  10. Altantuya murder, French submarine corruption and 1MDB etc. all of these were in the news, yet our government went ahead to do sign deal with Najib – does not the ministry involved, the government, the MP whom we elect to safeguard our interests OWE Singapore an explanation how HSR is justified? For TRANSPARENCY, can the summary or full analysis of HSR cost benefit studies be uploaded online for anyone interested to read to show how the decision is objectively made to proceed with HSR?

  11. Aiyah. I don’t want expensive high speed rails. I want cheap rail, and don’t mind is it’s a slow speed rail, so Long is a cheap rail! No breakdown rail is a good rail!

    High speed Low speed not important, so Long is no cheap and better than no speed rail!

  12. No big projects no big bonuses for them. Now they will only think of building more BUTO flats. Eunos cres,Haig Rd will be next on chopping block after Tanglin Halt,Rochor Ctr and Dakota Cres. Hahaha, so big space for few flats only. Can en-block to built more units plus more multi storey carparks..thats the only ideas they have to keep Spore economy going.

  13. How did Genting Group build a hotel in Jurong East even before HSR was announced? Malaysia has more to benefit from bullet train than us. But as Dr M pointed, maybe not now. I rather have normal good railway and mrt extended to JB. Malaysia will turn around with people like Robert kuok in Economic Management Committee and Lim Eng Guan as FM. On contrary, I doubt Singapore will prosper with this guys.

  14. So sad when i read the comments. My opinion is the Singapore side project is a few billion dollars take 5 years to build, Imagine the job lost during construction and after construction. Think of the trade and the business affected. Have a thought for the many companies that support the construction from lorry to transport the sand and concrete, the admin staff for the consultant and the archect. and the food business that supply the food to the site people. Thing of all the job lost and you guys are rejoicing. so sad.

  15. This old fork taking personally just want to revenge singapore , i was malaysia before , my generation knows what his has been done those naughty things , he is the one form the new UNMO , chaos the malaysia consitution and create the kleptocracy party , and now he came back claim himself to office is to restore the rule of law ,such a Jocker , those know the history of singapore and malaysia about the past and present . All he has done is taking too personally ,compare to LKY the legacy ,Lee kuan Yee far better than him. This old forks just cant see Singapore is better than malaysia . Hope he dead soon . Mother fucker mahatir.

  16. From the beginning, I m not one of those who Oooh and Ahhh over the HSR. Most get so excited as if they are going to commute to KL on the HSR everyday. They don’t know the chaos yet with a HSR station in the midst of Jurong neighbourhood estate. We are a small country with limited land trying to squeeze all these into a small area. Like a 5 year old child paying for a international buffet.