SHAH ALAM, Malaysia Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to postpone the High Speed Rail (HSR) project until a future date.

Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said the decision was made with regard to Malaysia's current economic situation.

"Singapore has agreed with the Malaysian government's view to delay the implementation of this project until a period when the economy has recovered," he told reporters at the Selangor State Assembly lobby here, yesterday.

Mohamed Azmin, who is also Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman, was met after attending the opening ceremony of the Second Meeting of the First Session of the 14th Selangor State Assembly, which was officiated by the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

According to Mohamed Azmin, the decision was reached after a recent series of talks with the Singapore government, and that as a result of the discussion, Malaysia did not have to pay any compensation to Singapore during the deferment period.

"No compensation will be paid within the deferment period, at the end of the deferment period, if it is cancelled, only then we will need to pay.

"After the deferment period, we are confident of continuing with the project. We will also continue to discuss how we can reduce the cost of the project, possibly by adopting new technologies or looking at other aspects," he said.

Mohamed Azmin added that further discussions with the Singapore government would also focus on 'International Service' segment of the project, which would benefit both countries, including their economic growth.

He further explained by saying that the HSR had two components, namely the 'International Service' which involved travel from Singapore to Malaysia and the 'Domestic Service' which involved seven stops throughout the journey.

"We will focus on the International Service," he said.

Previously, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad reportedly said the Malaysian government would negotiate with Singapore to postpone the implementation of the railway project as the country could not afford it at the moment.

Source: NAM News Network