Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has clarified that the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail (HSR) was not really scrapped, but was instead delayed due to funding woes, reported The Edge.
"There will be a need for a HSR in the future, probably right through the peninsula. But we cannot afford it at this moment. So, we actually postponed the implementation of the project" he told the Nikkei Asian Review during his recent trip to Japan.
"High-speed trains are most effective where the distance is very long. But where the distance is short, it doesn't contribute much. So we need to rethink HSR. We cannot say we will never have HSR in Malaysia.â€
In late-May, he said that the Malaysian government had made a "final decisionâ€ to axe the 350km railway project, which he estimates to cost RM110 billion, due to a huge federal debt of over RM1 trillion exacerbated by the 1MDB corruption scandal.
According to Transport Minister Anthony Loke, the HSR's postponement will be discussed further in a meeting with Singapore officials.
"We are still going to discuss it with Singapore. Three ministers - Finance, Economic Affairs and Transport - will go to Singapore to discuss on this" he added.