80 employees affected by HSR termination but most will remain in roles at LTA

SINGAPORE – Out of 80 staff affected by the termination of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, the majority will remain in roles at the Land Transport Authority (LTA) where they were deployed when the project was first suspended in 2018.

The 80 employees worked for SG HSR, an infrastructure company under LTA which will assist the rest of the officers in transitioning to other suitable roles within either the authority or the wider public service, said LTA on Friday (Jan 1).

It also confirmed that no new tenders have been called since the suspension of the project in September 2018.

In July 2018, then-Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan told Parliament that SG HSR had formed a team of more than 100 specialists to build, own, fund and maintain the HSR civil infrastructure in Singapore. It had called five tenders to construct civil infrastructure within Singapore.

A few months later in September, a two-year delay was agreed on. SG HSR then said that its staff of over 100 would be offered alternative jobs in LTA, with the company’s work to be scaled down until the project resumed.

Under the terms of the deferment in 2018, both sides called off the ongoing international joint tender for a company to oversee rolling stock and rail assets for the HSR.

In agreeing to the suspension, Singapore also incurred more costs in compensation to contractors for breaking contracts, Mr Khaw told Parliament.

Malaysia had agreed to reimburse Singapore $15 million for these abortive costs.

In May 2018, Mr Khaw noted that Singapore had already racked up an estimated bill of more than S$250 million for work on the project, and would continue to incur costs of more than $6 million in June, more than $6 million in July, and at least $40 million from August to the end of 2018.

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