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Firms eye KL-S'pore rail project

Publication Date : 13-12-2013


Several international firms, including Japanese ones, are eyeing the 330km Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail link project.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said that during his discussions with leading Japanese corporations – three namely Hitachi Ltd, Sumitomo Corporation and Mitsui & Co – had voiced their interest in the project.

He added the Malaysian government was still conducting a project feasibility study. Once completed, the international bidding process would be carried out.

“The companies, including Japanese firms, could then take part in the process,” he told the Malaysian media.

Najib said there were also Chinese and European companies that were interested in the high speed rail link project.

Earlier this year, Malaysia and Singapore announced the rail link, which is expected to cut land travelling time between the two countries to just 90 minutes.

Targeted to be completed by 2020, it is reported to cost about 40 billion ringgit (US$12.4 billion).

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who held a bilateral meeting with Najib earlier, urged for Japanese technology to be considered in the rail link construction.

“This is something which Malaysia should consider adopting as Japan has the Shinkansen high speed railway system,” he said.

Najib said there were opportunities for Japanese companies to take part in the development of Malaysia’s infrastructure through the process of open bidding.

On the second wave of the Look East Policy, Malaysia is eyeing high value investments from the Land of the Rising Sun and those that are up in the value chain, Najib said.

This comes after the positive effect of the first wave of the policy which started in 1982 where Malaysians learned skills, values and the good work ethics practised by the Japanese.

“I told Prime Minister Abe that we are not interested in getting labour intensive investments but are eyeing those that are high tech and that would create a high supply chain.”

Najib also held discussions with Tokuyama Corporation which confirmed a 5 billion ringgit ($1.5 billion) investment for the second phase of its polysilicon plant in Malaysia.

The company had already spent 3 billion ringgit ($279 million) and invited Najib to launch the second phase some time next year.

Japanese firm Toshiba has also confirmed its partnership with 1MDB to set up a high-tech cancer treatment centre, Najib added.


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