Singapore is open to Malaysia's ideas on high-speed railway: Wong

Singapore Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said Wednesday that his government is open to any ideas that Malaysia may have on a high-speed railway connecting Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, a project Malaysia is hoping to revive after it was previously scrapped by the two countries.

"We are open to hearing from Malaysia if there are proposals on the High-Speed Rail as well and whatever the new ideas are, we will keep an open mind and we will discuss it in the right spirit of taking our relationship forward," Wong said at a press conference during his first visit as Singaporean leader to Malaysia.

In 2013, the Malaysian and Singaporean governments announced they were going ahead with a 350-kilometer-long high-speed rail link that would cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and the city-state to just 90 minutes, compared with over four hours by car.

But the project was suspended at Malaysia's request following a change of government in 2018 amid concerns over its cost. It was formally scrapped in January 2021 with Malaysia subsequently paying Singapore $76.4 million in compensation.

Malaysia's current administration of Anwar Ibrahim, however, has done an about-turn and is looking to revive the project and local media reported in March this year that three consortiums, two Malaysian and one Chinese, are believed to have been shortlisted for the project.

© Kyodo News