KUALA LUMPUR, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Singapore has agreed to Malaysia's request to postpone the High Speed Rail linking the two countries without compensation, local media reported Monday.
Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali was quoted by the local Star Newspaper as saying that Singapore has agreed to put the project on hold "indefinitely", and there will be no need for Malaysia to pay compensation during the period.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced shortly after taking office in May that the high speed rail would be dropped, citing high cost and low usage. He later changed tone that his country would seek deferment on the project, saying it has to pay a penalty of around 30 million ringgit (123.1 million U.S. dollars) to Singapore for the cancellation.
Azmin visited Singapore last week and met with Singaporean Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan on the high speed rail project, according to a statement by the Economic Ministry.
"It was a very productive meeting with the promise of a very imminent win-win resolution," the statement said.
For his part, Khaw said in a post on social media that Singapore and Malaysia "should be able to announce our joint decisions" soon.
The governments of Malaysia and Singapore signed a legally-binding pact on the project in 2016. Both sides called for tender last year.
The high speed rail project would cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to 90 minutes once in operation.