SINGAPORE, Singapore has welcomed Malaysia's suggestion to commence discussions on the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, said the republic's Ministry of Transport (MOT).

The Singapore government received a letter from Malaysia's Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, dated July 23, 2018, stating that the government was studying the details of the HSR project and will commence discussions with Singapore soon.

The MOT said the Singapore government requested its Malaysian counterpart to provide a written response to clarify its position on the project, via diplomatic channels, since June 1.

It further stated that if the Malaysian government wished to meet to discuss the project, discussions should take place by July 31, 2018.

As of Aug 1, 2018, Malaysia has not proposed a meeting date, said MOT in a statement issued late Wednesday night.

Mohamed Azmin had reportedly said that the meeting would likely take place this month.

Meanwhile, on the Rapid Transit System (RTS) project, the MOT said it had not received any official response from Malaysia on the formation of a joint venture company to be the RTS link operator, adding that it was looking forward to receiving a response soon.

Malaysia's Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook recently said that a joint venture company would be set up to ensure the smooth implementation of the project upon approval by the Cabinet.

He said a working paper on the project with detailed information would be presented to the Cabinet soon for approval although the government had agreed in principle to the implementation of the RTS project.

MOT said that the Singaporean government was happy that Malaysia remained committed to the Johor Bahru-Singapore RTS Link project.

Singapore remains committed to working closely with Malaysia to ensure the smooth implementation of the RTS Link project, it added.

In July, it was reported that Singapore's rail operator, SMRT Corporation Ltd and Malaysia's national rail operator, Prasarana Malaysia, had missed the June 30 deadline to form a joint venture company to operate the link.

Source: NAM News Network