Govt firm in decision to scrap HSR - Dr M

PUTRAJAYA, May 30 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government stood behind its decision not to continue with the RM110 billion Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project.

He said it would not be efficient if the huge allocation was used to provide only about 100,000 jobs.

"If you want to spend RM60 to RM100 billion so that 100,000 people can work, that is not efficient," he told reporters after hosting a breaking of fast for Cabinet ministers, Menteri Besars, Chief Ministers and foreign diplomats here today.

Dr Mahathir said this when asked to comment on the statement by Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who questioned the decision by the government to cancel the HSR project.

According to Najib, the project would create 110,000 job opportunities once it was implemented and expected to increase to 442,000 (job opportunities) by 2069.

The HSR project, which spans 335 kilometres and involves four states, connects Kuala Lumpur with Singapore and was scheduled for completion in 2026.

Prior to this, Dr Mahathir had said the cancellation was subject to discussions with Singapore due to high financial implications and that Malaysia would have to compensate Singapore up to RM500 million for aborting the project.