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Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (seated C) speaks during a press conference while seated from left to right Minister of Home Affairs Muhyiddin Yassin, politician Anwar Ibrahim, Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng, listen in Kuala Lumpur on June 1, 2018. (BERNAMA photo)
Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (seated C) speaks during a press conference while seated from left to right Minister of Home Affairs Muhyiddin Yassin, politician Anwar Ibrahim, Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng, listen in Kuala Lumpur on June 1, 2018. (BERNAMA photo)

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied an accusation that he had pre-empted the Cabinet when he announced the cancellation of the Malaysian-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project.

He said the issue had been a part of the Pakatan Harapan manifesto and had been used in the campaign for the general election on May 9.

“No. That was decided by the party from the very beginning. We campaigned on that issue and I’m not going to go away from the decision of the party simply because I can’t form a Cabinet soon enough,” he said at a press conference after having chaired a meeting of the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council here today.

The Prime Minister was asked about the Barisan Nasional allegation that he had pre-empted the Cabinet by announcing the cancellation of the HSR project.

On May 28, Dr Mahathir confirmed that Malaysia would scrap the project and would most likely have to pay compensation of up to RM500 million to Singapore.

The HSR, planned to run over 335 kilometres and involving four states, would have connected Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. The project was scheduled for completion in 2026. – BERNAMA

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