The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail project was supposed to be a game changer. The 350-kilometer line would have slashed travel time from over four hours by road to just 90 minutes. But after two delays for Malaysia to reconsider – and try to renegotiate terms – it opted to scrap the deal and compensate Singapore.
The end of the project was met with the same kind of conflicting reactions in Malaysia that greeted the project’s announcement in 2016. Malaysia said it needed to reduce the cost of the project, while Singapore said it just couldn’t agree to one of Malaysia’s conditions.
Some Malaysians, though, are thrilled – seeing the 20-billion-dollar high speed railway as an unneeded expense, with many also believing Singapore would benefit from it more than Malaysia.
One proposal was a deal breaker for Singapore: Malaysia’s efforts to scrap the agreement to appoint a single Assets Company to provide, build, run and maintain the railway.