Singapore

Japan’s all-out effort to build High Speed Rail

KUALA LUMPUR Japan is making an all-out bid to construct the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR), touted as South-east Asia's largest infrastructure project.

In an interview with Bernama news agency, Japan's ambassador to Malaysia said the Japanese bid would be a comprehensive package based on Japan's technological expertise in its renowned bullet train system, the Shinkansen.

The bid would include a total transfer of technology and local vendor development to benefit Malaysian and Singaporean companies, including small and medium enterprises, said Mr Makio Miyagawa.

"We will be offering our best-suited technologies to Malaysians and Singaporeans as well as full-fledged training for the officials, operators and engineers of both countries so that they can start the operations by themselves from day one," said Mr Miyagawa.

GAME-CHANGER

Bids for the HSR, described as a game-changing joint-venture between Malaysia and Singapore, must be submitted by the middle of this year with the contract expected to be awarded by year-end.

Other potential bidders for the project include China, South Korea and France.

The 350-km HSR will cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to 90 minutes and is projected to be completed in 2026.

Malaysia's MyHSR Corporation and Singapore's HSR announced on Dec 20 that they would start accepting bids for a company which will be responsible for designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining all rail assets.

Malaysia's Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani was reported to have said that the railway line, which will have eight stations, would cost around RM50 billion (S$16.6 billion) to RM60 billion.

- THE STRAITS TIMES

Transport