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Parliamentary Replies

Drawing on Past Reserves for Singapore-Malaysia High-Speed Rail Project

09 Jan 2017

Parliamentary Question by Mr Pritam Singh:

To ask the Minister for Finance (a) whether the Government has sought the President's permission to draw down on past reserves in order to proceed with the High Speed Rail project with Malaysia; and (b) if so, how much of our past reserves has been set aside for this purpose.

Parliamentary Reply by 2nd Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong:

The Government did not ask the President for permission to draw on Past Reserves for the High Speed Rail (HSR) project. The project will be funded following normal budgetary processes in due course.

Under the terms of the HSR Agreement with Malaysia, the Government will guarantee payments by Singapore’s HSR Infrastructure Company (InfraCo) to meet specific obligations, such as the Availability Payments by the InfraCo to the Assets Company (AssetsCo) to cover the latter’s capital expenditure and costs of operation, maintenance and renewal of rail assets. In accordance with Article 144 of the Constitution and Section 15 of the Financial Procedure Act, the Government sought and obtained the President’s concurrence to give this guarantee to the InfraCo.

Malaysia has also provided a similar guarantee for its InfraCo’s obligations. This reaffirms the commitment of both Governments to the HSR project, and gives added confidence to interested investors.