- A bullet train connecting Singapore and Malaysia is in the works
- The project is forecast to be completed and operational by 2026
- Project bidders are eyeing the undertaking, but speculation is that China Railway Corp will win the project
Just this July 19, Singapore and Malaysia finally signed an agreement in Putrajaya to build a rail link that will connect and revolutionize travel between the two countries.
The high-speed train transport system will be 350 kilometers (217 miles) long and will be the first in Southeast Asia.
By road, travel from the regional financial hub of Singapore to Kuala Lumpur is five plus hours long, but the bullet train will cut the travel time down to an hour and a half.
The price tag for the project is estimated to be 15 billion USD, but is actually seen as a good precedent to future transport linkages in the neighborhood, as well as will mend the past’s broken ties. Historically, Singapore was made to exit the Malaysian Federation in 1965 because of ethnic issues. After the 1965 exit, the relations between the two have been strained and were even tarnished by “occasional bickering.”
But thanks to Prime Ministers Najib Razak (of Malaysia) and Lee Hsien Loong (of Singapore), the first proponents of the project in 2013, those ties (cultural and economic) will now be strengthened through the rail link.
International tenders, foreign railway contractors (i.e., Chinese, Japanese, Korean rail firms), and businesses that will benefit from the rail link development are looking into contributing to the project. The target completion and opening year is 2026.
As to who will win the project, speculations point to Chinese national rail operator, China Railway Corp, as having the edge in the bargain. This is because last year China’s largest nuclear energy producer, China General Nuclear Power Corporation, came to the rescue of Malaysia by purchasing 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) power assets for $2.3 billion. - KJ, Kami Media
RELATED: Good news! Better MRT in 100 days, DOTC guarantees