Malaysia to cancel high speed rail project with Singapore

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Kuala Lumpur, May 28 (IANS) Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday said that he will drop the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (KL-SG HSR) project, as part of his efforts to restore the financial health of the country.

Mahathir made the remarks at a press conference, saying it was “a final decision” to cancel the project, but Malaysia still had to talk to Singapore over a penalty concerning the withdrawal, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mahathir said the penalty was around 500 million ringgit ($126 million). In an interview with the Financial Times earlier, he called KL-SG HSR as one of the “unnecessary projects”.

To control public spending, he also introduced a 10 per cent pay cut for his Cabinet ministers, abolished some organisations and vowed to terminate the contracts of some 17,000 public employees.

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