Minister Khaw Boon Wan Revealed How Much Singapore Has Spent On High Speed Rail

Singapore has spent more than S$250 million worth of taxpayers’ money on the High Speed Rail (HSR) project, according to Minister of Transport Khaw Boon Wan.

The revelation was made during a parliamentary sitting on 9 Jul.

This includes expenses relating to land acquisition, civil infrastructure design and manpower costs.

Another S$40 million is expected to be spent between August and December, bringing the total expenditure to a staggering S$290 million.

Minister Khaw explained that while some expenses can be recovered in the event of a cancellation, a significant amount will go down as wasted expenditure.

HSR: Cancel or postpone?

After his shock election victory in May, Dr Mahathir announced that all mega projects will be subject to review, in order to resolve existing debt problems.

On 28 May, Dr Mahathir confirmed that the HSR will be one of the “unnecessary” projects dropped by the government.

He also mentioned that cancelling the project could result in a penalty of 500 million, but fell short of confirming the currency that it will be in.

2 weeks later, Dr Mahathir backtracked on his previous announcement, saying that the HSR was merely “postponed“.

Please decide fast

Singapore issued a diplomatic note on 1 Jun, requesting for Malaysia’s stance on the project.

However, as of 9 Jul, Singapore has yet to receive a reply from Malaysia regarding the matter.

As a result, Singapore has no choice but to keep up with her end of the agreement, thus incurring more costs.

Source

Will Malaysia bear the penalty?

Having said that, Mr Khaw explained that should Malaysia decide to scrap the HSR project, any costs incurred by Singapore will be added to the total compensation amount.

Thus, it’s in Malaysia’s own interest to arrive at a decision soon, since delaying the process will only make it costlier for their pockets.

Featured image from Gov.sg.