KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project has been terminated, as both countries failed to reach an agreement on changes proposed by Malaysia before the project agreement lapsed on Thursday (Dec 31).

A joint press statement by Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong said the Malaysian government had proposed several changes to the HSR project due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Malaysian economy.

“Both governments had conducted several discussions with regard to these changes and had not been able to reach an agreement. Therefore, the HSR Agreement had lapsed on Dec 31, 2020,” it said.

The leaders said both countries will abide by their respective obligations and now proceed with the necessary actions, resulting from this termination of the HSR Agreement.

“Both countries remain committed to maintain good bilateral relations and cooperate closely in various fields, including strengthening the connectivity between the two countries,” they said.

On May 31 last year, the two governments agreed to postpone the development of the RM110 billion bilateral project until Dec 31, 2020.

It was the second time the 350-kilometre HSR project had been postponed after it was first postponed in September 2018.

On Dec 13, 2016, Malaysia and Singapore inked the landmark bilateral agreement to pave the way for the implementation of the HSR project, which was scheduled to be completed in 2026 and would cut travel time between the two cities to just 90 minutes. — Bernama