Singapore and Malaysia announced on Friday their decision to scrap their plan for a high-speed rail line between the two countries after negotiations to resume the twice-delayed project collapsed, Kyodo reported.
The two sides had been negotiating changes to the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail project that Malaysia had requested in the hope of reaching an accord before a year-end deadline.
“Both governments had conducted several discussions with regard to these changes and had not been able to reach an agreement. Therefore, the HSR Agreement had lapsed on 31 December 2020,” Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Muhyiddin Yassin said in a joint statement.
The project originally called for building a 350-kilometer-long high-speed rail that would have cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and the city-state to just 90 minutes, compared with over four hours by car.
Malaysia must compensate Singapore for costs incurred in implementing the project. The amount was not specified on Friday, but Singapore’s parliament is expected to discuss the issue when it meets on Monday.
In February 2013, Lee and then Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced their agreement to build the high-speed rail.