Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has confirmed that the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project with Singapore will be dropped, while he quipped that he is “not so noble” over calls that he be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
- HSR project costs RM110 billion for a short track that saves only one hour
- EC chairman Hashim Abdullah wants to resign
- National Civics Bureau (BTN) set up for BN but used government money to pay salaries
- Bonuses for civil servants for Raya but “don’t know how much”
The Prime Minister said that the Government had to talk to Singapore about scrapping the HSR project and the compensation that needed to be paid.
“It’s not beneficial, it’s going to cost us a huge sum of money. We will make no money at all from the operation.
“The project only shortens the journey by one hour and it’s such a short track,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) supreme council meeting on Monday (May 28).
When questioned about the compensation that needed to be paid, he said he “supposed” it would be RM500 million.
Earlier, he told the Financial Times that there was a need to do away with some of the unnecessary projects.
He cited the example of the high-speed rail.
“We need to do away with some of the unnecessary projects, for example, the high-speed rail, which is going to cost us RM110 billion and will not earn us a single cent. That will be dropped,” he said.
When Pakatan Harapan swept to power in GE14 on May 9, it announced that it would review mega projects initiated by the previous administration to save the country billions of ringgit.
These may include the HSR, Bandar Malaysia, Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) and the Pan-Borneo Highway.
The HSR is a 350-km railway scheme linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and is expected to start operations from 2026.
Dr Mahathir also spoke on several other issues.
On investigating the Election Commission (EC) chairman Hashim Abdullah, he said that he understands Hashim wants to resign.
“But if there is anything against him, we will follow the law,” Dr Mahathir said.
He added that PPBM received numerous complaints against the EC in the manner it had conducted GE14.
As for whether the National Civics Bureau (BTN) should be abolished, he said: “Maybe we will keep or maybe we will abolish. Many of these institutions were set up for the Barisan Nasional, but they used government money to pay salaries.”
According to Dr Mahathir, there will be bonuses for civil servants for Raya but “don’t know how much”.
When asked by the media when the full Cabinet would be revealed, he said: “very soon”.
Finally, he dismissed calls that he be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize this year.
“Nobel prize? I’m not so noble,” quipped the Prime Minister.