HSR cancellation: Don't make emotional decisions, says Najib

HSR cancellation: Don't make emotional decisions, says Najib

Former Prime Minister Najib Razak was ousted in an election on May 9 that ended his party's six-decade rule amid allegations of corruption and discontent over rising living costs.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia would discuss the matter with Singapore soon with the aim of handling the project cancellation in a "least-cost manner".

Malaysia launched a challenge to that ruling past year but Singapore's foreign ministry said Wednesday it had been withdrawn by Kuala Lumpur.

The Malaysian Transport Science Association said the government should diversify its options in its bid to upgrade the nation's public transportation system following its decision to cancel both projects.

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.

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The ministry provided the name of a local bank and an account number for contributions which it said must be made in cash denominated in the local currency.

Bai had a friendly meeting with Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday, where he described the prime minister as China's "respected old friend who will bring bilateral relations to a new high".

"Mahathir must make an effort to remind himself often that he is no more leading the previous BN government, but the Harapan government in the new Malaysia." .

"This time, we are doing it".

"The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR is not inspired by the decision made by one country only", he said.

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USA investigators said Mr Najib's associates stole and laundered at least $US4.5 billion ($AU5.97 billion) from the fund.

It has also reopened an investigation into a massive corruption scandal at the 1MDB state investment fund set up by Mr Najib when he took power in 2009 but partly blamed for the rising debt.

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.

Najib has long denied any wrongdoing.

While Mr Mahathir's Government has made it a priority to get a handle on debts - pledging to axe some Government agencies and cut ministers' salaries - it is also withdrawing a goods and services tax this week which will hurt Government revenues.

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