KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia The Malaysian government will negotiate with Singapore to defer the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said Kuala Lumpur felt that it could not proceed with the project at the moment due to the country's current financial situation.

"At the moment, (when) we look at the financial situation of the country, we think that we cannot go ahead with the project, he said to reporters at the Parliament lobby today.

Dr Mahathir said the project could probably proceed at a later date with some cost reduction.

The Prime Minister said abandoning the project unilaterally could result in payment of a sizeable compensation to the affected parties.

The Pakatan Harapan government has revealed that the actual cost of the 350km-long railway line linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore was RM110 billion, double the RM55 billion announced by the previous Barisan Nasional administration.

Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said yesterday the fate of the project hinged on the meeting he was expected to have with Singapore by the end of the month.

Source: NAM News Network