Parliament: Singapore continues to incur costs on HSR as it awaits Malaysia's clarification, says Vivian Balakrishnan

An artist's impression of the High Speed Rail Terminal in Jurong East.
An artist's impression of the High Speed Rail Terminal in Jurong East.PHOTO: FARRELLS

SINGAPORE - Singapore continues to incur costs on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail project as it is still meeting its obligations under the agreement while waiting for Malaysia to clarify its position on the project, said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Monday (July 9).

He said in Parliament that Singapore has sent the Malaysian government a third-person note - a diplomatic note - requesting a clarification on the issue, following announcements from Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad that the project would be dropped.

Dr Balakrishnan was speaking on the HSR in response to a broader question from MPs on the state of relations between Singapore and Malaysia.

Malaysia voted in a new government during its May 9 election, and since then, various Malaysian leaders have said that a final decision has been made to terminate the HSR, and that the project has been "postponed" or "deferred", noted Dr Balakrishnan.

He said: "We look forward to an official response to our third-person note from the Malaysian government soon.

"Should Malaysia cause the HSR project to be terminated, we will deal with the question of compensation from Malaysia for costs incurred, in accordance with the binding agreement and international law. The Singapore Government has a duty to safeguard public funds by recovering these costs."

Dr Balakrishnan in his speech stressed the importance of maintaining the sanctity of international law and agreements.