Mahathir in surprise plan to build island near Singapore

Mahathir in surprise plan to build island near Singapore

Mahathir in surprise plan to build island near Singapore

Malaysia's unilateral decision not to proceed with construction means it may now have to compensate Singapore.

Dr Mahathir is seeking more fiscal space to fulfill election pledges that include reducing living costs and fuel subsidies after finding the state saddled with debt and contingent liabilities exceeding 1 trillion ringgit (S$337.2 billion). "The people voluntarily want to share their earnings with the government to help ease the burden".

The Singapore government has also invested a fair bit in planning and early projections for the project such as engaging planners and civil engineers, said Azman Jaafar, deputy managing partner of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing and chairman of Asean Plus Group. But as of now, the decision has been made to cancel the project.

In his latest press conference on May 30, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that the government has made a decision to set up "Tabung Harapan Malaysia" (THM) or "Malaysian Fund of Hope" as a way for Malaysians to donate, for those who want to voluntarily ease the nation's burden.

The unanticipated announcement came as both countries this week processed another major about-turn in policy affecting both countries - the new Malaysian government's decision to cancel a multibillion-dollar rail project linking Kuala Lumpur with the Lion City. "We will make no money at all from this operation".

"If we break the agreement, we have to pay a very large sum of money", the prime minister told The Edge.

Ping said the project was too costly even though there would be expected to ferry a high number of tourists and commuters.

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But he said Malaysia will discuss the matter with Singapore.

The Facebook page of the powerful Sultan of Johor - Malaysia's southernmost state bordering Singapore - previous year published a video of a tiny maritime facility built on Middle Rock.

In a separate press conference on Wednesday, transport minister Anthony Loke said the planned cancellation would be subject to negotiations with Singapore.

When questioned about the compensation that needed to be paid, he said he "supposed" it would be RM500mil.

"Although the forfeited amount, for breaking the project agreement with Singapore, is not small to give up, it will speak volumes about Singapore".

However, Koh still hopes the HSR would link Kuala Lumpur and the republic and be extended to Malaysia's northern city of Penang. Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng ends the statement by expressing their honest appreciation and gratitude to all Malaysians for all their support and concern.

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