News analysis

Singapore agreed to high-speed rail deferment to show goodwill to neighbour

At a press conference after signing a new deal to defer the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project by nearly two years, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan noted on Wednesday that the original bilateral agreement inked in 2016 had no provision for a suspension.

In other words, there was no obligation on Singapore's part to agree to any delay. But the Republic gave Malaysia's request serious consideration, Mr Khaw said, "in the spirit of bilateral cooperation".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore agreed on deferment to show goodwill to neighbour'. Subscribe