Singapore FM: No discussion to revive HSR during 4-day official visit to Malaysia

The revival of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project was not discussed during the republic’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan’s just-ended four-day official visit to Malaysia.

“No, we did not discuss that. We focused on the RTS, the Rapid Transit System that will connect Johor to Singapore,” Balakrishnan responded when asked by the Singapore media on whether the revival of the HSR was discussed during his visit which begun on Jan 15.

The full transcript of the minister’s Doorstop Interview at the conclusion of his official visit to Malaysia was made available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website today.

“The RTS project will be a significant boost for the people and workers on both sides of the Straits of Johor. It will provide for 10,000 passengers every hour.

“So far, based on my discussions with the ministers in Malaysia, they have assured me that they are going all out to ensure that we can meet the deadline of it being completed by the end of 2026. So, that is something to look forward to,” he said.

As for other projects, Balakrishnan said Singapore will wait for proposals from Malaysia, and “will keep an open mind.”

“We are on the lookout for new projects or additional projects, which are of mutual benefit to both countries,” he said.

During his visit to Singapore on Nov 29, 2021, the then Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had suggested reviving discussions on the HSR.

Earlier on Jan 1, 2021, Malaysia and Singapore jointly announced the termination of the HSR project as both countries failed to reach an agreement on changes proposed by Malaysia before the project agreement lapsed on Dec 31, 2020.

During his visit which ends today, Balakrishnan had an audience with Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

He called on Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his Malaysian counterpart Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as well as other Cabinet ministers including Minister of Transport Anthony Loke.

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