Malaysia has paid nearly $76.30m (S$102.8m) to Singapore as a settlement for the cancellation of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project between the two countries.

The announcement was jointly made by the Singapore Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung and Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister’s Economy Department Mustapa Mohamed, reported Reuters.

After the agreement expired on 31 December 2020, both countries cancelled the long-delayed HSR project, which was expected to cost nearly $17bn, at the beginning of this year.

Thereafter, Malaysia agreed to pay Singapore for the expenditures it had already incurred for the development, extension, and suspension of the project.

The two countries unanimously agreed on the compensation amount after the Malaysian Government completed the process of verification.

In a joint statement, the ministers said: “This amount represents a full and final settlement in relation to the termination of the bilateral agreement.”

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The HSR project was cancelled after the two countries were unable to reach an agreement on the changes proposed by Malaysia.

The 350km rail link would have shortened the travelling time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to 90 minutes, compared with the four-hour journey on road.

People close to the bidding process had told Reuters that firms from China, Japan, Europe and South Korea had previously expressed interest in securing the contracts for building, running and financing the trains and rail assets.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) granted a civil contract to Samsung C&T Corporation for the construction and design of the Hougang interchange station and tunnels for Phase I of the Cross Island Line (CRL) last week.

The total value of the contract stands at nearly $604m.

Scope of the contract includes design and construction of the Hougang interchange station and tunnels, along with modification work on the present Hougang station along the North-East Line (NEL).

Construction of the CRL Hougang station is expected to commence in Q4 2021, with passenger service expected to start in 2030.