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Oral Reply by Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung to Parliamentary Question on the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail

04 Jan 2021 In Parliament

Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis asked the Minister for Transport what has been the total amount of expenditure incurred to date by Singapore on the High Speed Rail project and what are the terms specified in the bilateral agreement in relation to compensation claims upon termination of the agreement by either party.
Reply by Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung: 
1.     Singapore has incurred more than S$270 million for the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail, or HSR Project. Some of these costs, such as for consultancy services, design of infrastructure, and manpower to deliver the HSR Project, are abortive costs if the HSR Project does not proceed.
2.     To date, Singapore has already received about S$15 million from Malaysia, arising from Malaysia’s request to suspend the construction of the HSR Project back in 2018, up to May 2020. Subsequent to that, at the request of Malaysia, the HSR Project was further suspended till 31 December 2020.
3.     Malaysia has now decided not to proceed with the HSR Project. According to the terms of the parties’ agreement, Malaysia is obliged to pay termination compensation to Singapore. This will include various abortive costs, but not land acquisition costs since the value of the land can be recovered.
4.     The compensation amount for the termination and schedule for payment are specified in our Agreements. In addition, there is a small component of miscellaneous abortive costs for the suspension of the project requested by Malaysia that Singapore is currently verifying, before we send to Malaysia.
5.     Due to Singapore’s confidentiality obligations under the HSR Bilateral Agreement, we are unable to reveal the exact terms in relation to the compensation for the termination of the HSR Project.
6.     We look forward to continue to build good relations and work closely with Malaysia to improve connectivity in other ways, and in many other fields, for the mutual benefit of the people of both countries.