Malaysia, Singapore delay signing of high-speed railway deal

Singapore and Malaysia have decided to postpone the signing of a bilateral agreement on a 14.7-billion-USD high-speed railway project due to slow scheduling and other administrative issues, Vietnamnews's reporter reported in Singapore, yesterday.

According to the Malaysian Prime Minister's Department, Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong were initially scheduled to meet in Johor Baru, Malaysia, on December 5, and witness the signing of the High Speed Rail (HSR) project during their annual retreat.

The Malaysian side suggested December 21 as the new date.

Previously, the two sides reached consensus on fine-tuning some details of the project. In July, they signed a memorandum of understanding on facilitating further negotiations of the deal.

Construction of the 350km high speed railway connecting Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur and Singapore is scheduled to begin in 2018 and be completed in 2026.

Allowing trains to run at a speed of 300 km per hour, the railway is expected to reduce travel time between the two destinations to 90 minutes from the current 5 hours and serve some 20 million passengers per year.

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