Due to the confidentiality provision, the reimbursement amount for terminating the HSR project can not be disclosed: Malaysian Minister

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Malaysia: The fee to be paid to Singapore by Malaysia after the termination of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project cannot be revealed publicly because the agreement between the two countries includes a secrecy clause, said Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia’s Minister in the Department of the Prime Minister (Economy).

After the HSR agreement expired on Dec 31, 2020, the project was terminated last Friday.

Mr Mustapa said in a Facebook post on Monday (Jan 4) that the payout is “not punitive in nature” and is a sum Malaysia will reimburse for particular project costs for which Singapore has already spent money.

“We are waiting for the cost details from Singapore, and once received, it will be scrutinised before we confirm them. The types of claims made have already been agreed upon,” said Mr Mustapa. 

“However, the amount of compensation cannot be disclosed because under the Bilateral Agreement, both countries are bounded by a confidentiality clause. Yet, my team and I will discuss with Singapore to share information on the amount of compensation after it is finalised. Therefore, any figures on compensation mentioned by any party are merely speculation,” he added. 

Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung also said: “The compensation amount for the termination and schedule for payment are specified in our Agreements.” 

“In addition, for the suspension of the project requested by Malaysia, there is a small component of miscellaneous abortive costs that Singapore is currently checking before sending to Malaysia. Because of the confidentiality obligations of Singapore under the HSR Bilateral Agreement, we are unable to disclose the exact terms in relation to the reimbursement for the termination of the HSR Project,” He said

Mr. Ong said that the project’s budget to date is slightly more than S$270 million.

The goal of the proposed HSR line was to reduce the travel time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur by train to approximately 90 minutes, compared to the current 11 hours on existing train services.

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