Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his visiting Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak said in a joint statement on May 5 that they are pleased with the significant progress in the bilateral relations of the two countries.

During the Annual Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat, the two sides signed a wide range of agreements in the fields of customs, disaster management and urban development. They also agreed to strengthen their partnership in defence and security, vocational training, tourism, environment and culture.

The leaders reaffirmed the steady progress of the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, started in 2013, and said it is a game-changing initiative which will enhance connectivity and facilitate the movement of people and goods between the two nations.

Singapore has decided that the terminus for the HSR in the country will be located at Jurong East in the Jurong Lake District in the hope to turn the location into its second Central Business District in the future, Prime Minister Lee said.

Meanwhile, Malaysia has determined that its five terminals will be on Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat and Nusajaya.

The two prime ministers also conceded that a new deadline is needed for the project, as its complexity means that it won’t be finished by 2020 as scheduled.

The construction of HSR will take approximately five years while the initial design and tender process will take another one year each, Prime Minister Najib predicted.

The next leaders’ retreat, to be held in 2016, will take place in Malaysia.-VNA