'HSR cancellation was agreed upon earlier'
All smiles: Dr Mahathir and Anwar attending the press conference at Yayasan Selangor.
PETALING JAYA: The announcement to cancel Malaysia-Singaporeâs High-Speed Rail project did not pre-empt the Cabinet decision, as it was agreed upon by Pakatan Harapan earlier.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the decision to cancel the HSR was done by Pakatan Harapan from the âvery beginningâ, as it was in its manifesto.
âWe campaigned on that issue and wonât move away from the partyâs d ecision just because I couldnât form a Cabinet soon enough,â he told reporters yesterday.
On Monday, he announced that the HSR project would be axed, but noted that it would take some time due to the agreement with SingaÂpore.
However, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said later that the decision on whether or not to drop the project was not discussed in the Cabinet meeting.
Singaporeâs Transport Ministry issued a statement yesterday, saying: âIn the event that Malaysia terminates the project, Singapore will study the implications and exercise our rights (including any right to compensation for expenses incurÂred) in accordance with the terms of the HSR bilateral agreement.
âWe have informed the MalayÂsian Government that Singapore is continuing to incur costs on this project as it awaits Malaysiaâs clarification.â
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir gave assurance that the Government would remain âbusiness friendlyâ and fair to all investors. < /p>
âLocal or foreign investors will be treated the same way and if there is a problem, it will be attended to. We will stick to the rule of law. The law is plain and obvious for everyone to see,â he said.
Asked about his recent meeting with Indian Prime Minister NarenÂdra Modi, he said it was a âgood meetingâ.
Dr Mahathir expressed interest in Indiaâs way of going cashless and eliminating middlemen when it came to procurement for the government.
âWhen they want to procure something for the government, they go online and the supplier deals directly with the government.
âThere are no other people in between,â he added.
Dr Mahathir also confirmed that the toll collection for a portion of the highway from the Sungai Besi toll plaza to the Old Klang Road interchange had ceased.
âThe agreement states that on May 31, the toll will stop being collected in that small area. From now on, there will be no toll charges, but we need to co mpensate PLUS (Malaysia Bhd) for that part which belongs to them.
âWe have not discussed other things about PLUS,â he added.
PLUS said it would no longer be collecting any toll along this route on behalf of Metramac, the concessionaire of Sungai Besi Expressway.
âThe discontinuance of this toll charge is due to the conclusion of the Metramac Expressway ConcesÂsion period on May 31, 2018, as scheduled,â said PLUS in a statement yesterday.
On the RM30bil Langkawi New City project, Dr Mahathir said it was up to the state government to decide on the matter, adding: âThis is a project in Kedah, so it will be dealt with by the state.âRelated NewsSource: Google News