Malaysian govt evaluating economic implications of cancelling HSR: Economic Affairs Minister

An artist's impression of the high-speed rail terminal in Jurong East. PHOTO: FARRELLS

GOMBAK (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian government is looking at the possible economic implications if it were to cancel the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) and East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) mega projects.

Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said on Sunday (May 27) the government needed to consider all factors involved, including an earlier contractual agreement between the two nations for the HSR.

He also highlighted the importance of having talks with Singapore first to discuss how the project can be reviewed.

The RM50 billion (S$16.9 billion) project is one of several infrastructure plans initiated by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's administration, which is under review by the newly-elected Pakatan Harapan government.

Another mega project being scrutinised is the RM55 billion ECRL.

Mr Azmin said the government also needed to study the full impact of the project.

"We must see whether we need the HSR project as the distance is only about 350km," he said at a breaking of fast programme at Masjid Al-Hidayah.

"We must examine if there are other modes of transport available to ensure connectivity between Singapore and Malaysia," he said at a breaking of fast programme at Masjid Al-Hidayah here Sunday (May 27).

On a separate matter, he said the mid-term review on the economy would be tabled in September, among others, to set a new economic direction in line with the Pakatan Harapan manifesto.

He said the ministry and the Economic Planning Unit were currently preparing the review.

"This mid-term review will be slightly different to show the achievements of the 11th Malaysia Plan over the last two years.

"We also want to set targets which are based on Pakatan's manifesto," he said.

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