Malaysia’s former prime minister, Mr Mahathir Mohamad, had threatened to scrap the high-speed project, which was a flagship scheme of his predecessor, Mr Najib Razak. In September 2018 the governments agreed to suspend the project until May 2020 to allow time for a review of costs. In June, the governments agreed to a further extension until December 31.

In a joint statement released on December 2, the prime ministers announced that they had taken stock of the progress of discussions, and gained a good understanding of each country’s respective positions. Both sides will announce further details on the project through a joint statement in due course.

The 350km line, which will have eight stations, was originally due to open in 2026.

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