Malaysia, Singapore defer high-speed rail flagship until year-end

Malaysia said on Sunday it had agreed with neighbouring Singapore to suspend until the end of the year a project for a high-speed rail link between the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and the city-state, to allow discussion of changes.

Analysts estimate the project, first announced by both nations in 2013, will cost about $17 billion, though the two have tried to renegotiate the terms of an initial pact, Reuters reported on Sunday.

“The government of Malaysia and the government of Singapore have agreed to resume discussions on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail infrastructure project in the near future,” said Mohamed Azmin Ali, Malaysia’s minister of international trade and industry.

“The discussions will encompass some of the proposed changes in the commercial and technical aspects of the project,” he said in a statement.

Singapore’s transport ministry did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.