KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad pledged on Monday to scrap a project to build a high-speed railway to Singapore, an ominous sign for the neighbours’ famously fractious relationship.
Mahathir, who won a surprise election victory in May against Najib Razak’s long-ruling coalition, is seeking to improve the country’s finances, which he says deteriorated dramatically after the former government became embroiled in a financial scandal.
The leader said it was a “final decision” to scrap plans for the bullet-train line between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which had been agreed on several years ago and was expected to cut travel time to 90 minutes from five hours by road today.
“It’s not beneficial. It’s going to cost us a huge sum of money; we’ll make no money at all from this operation,” Mahathir said.
He was not sure how long it would take to implement. “Of course we have to talk to Singapore, we have an agreement with them,” he said.