Malaysia seeking to build island in waters near Singapore

Image via The Malaysian Reserve

Image via The Malaysian Reserve

Dr Mahathir had previously said there were high financial penalties for pulling out of the project and Malaysia would try to find out how it could reduce those costs.

"We can tell our children and grandchildren of this initiative that we all took part in to save Negaraku [my country] Malaysia", she said. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has scrapped multibillion-dollar projects, cut ministerial salaries and dismissed thousands of contract workers to shore up the budget.

"We will wait for official communication from Malaysia".

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

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Forsyth and Guilford counties are expected to get an additional 1 inch of rain over the next six days, he said. Among other things, it has left 25,000 people in Alabama without power.

Mahathir Mohamad speats at a news conference May 10 in Kuala Lumpur.

Dr Walter Theseira, senior lecturer at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, said it would be a "great missed opportunity" for both countries if plans for the HSR were to fall through, as the project would have strengthened both Singapore's and Kuala Lumpur's positions as regional business hubs. But of course, why we cancelled the project is because of affordability.

The new government has said Najib - now being investigated over his role in the 1MDB financial scandal - had over leveraged the country by committing to too many infrastructure projects at the same time. And we can not pay so much money if we continue with the project. "We will make no money at all from this operation".

Meanwhile, Public Investment Bank has downgraded Gamuda Bhd to "Neutral" at RM4.13 with a lower target (TP) price of RM4.30 (from RM6.20) due to market fears on the high speed rail (HSR) confirmed and the increasing uncertainties surrounding the toll concessions.

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Its president, Prof Dr Mohamed Rehan Karim, said the government's decision is apt given the country's high debt level.

Mahathir said the 350-kilometer (218-mile) rail project slated to be completed by 2026 is too costly.

Malaysia launched a challenge to that ruling a year ago but Singapore's foreign ministry said Wednesday it had been withdrawn by Kuala Lumpur.

Both developments are likely to alarm the Singapore government, already wary of Mahathir's return as ties between the neighbours were famously stormy during his first stint as premier from 1981-2003.

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The planned double-track link between the Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore was set to connect the two in 90 minutes with seven stations in Malaysia and one in Singapore.

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