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Japan Firms Walked Out of The Singapore-Malaysia High Speed Railway Project

Author: Dian Kencana
January 16, 2024
Japan Firms Walked Out of The Singapore-Malaysia High Speed Railway Project
Japanese firm, including East Japan Railway Co, have opted out of participating in the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project. Photo: The Straits Times

SEAToday.com, Kuala Lumpur-On Thursday, January 11, Japanese firms, decided to opt out of the Malaysia-Singapore High-Speed railway project, amid the deadline for request of information, on January 15. Malaysia's decision to use private financing to finance the project, ultimately prompted Japan’s exit, citing concerns about the risk involved in the project.

Following the recent development, local companies plotted with Chinese and European firms to bid and continue the 21 billion USD project. The development could allow Chinese businesses to further solidify their footprint in infrastructure building in East Asia after they completed a high-speed railway in 2023 in Indonesia and are currently building another in Thailand.

 

Japan Firms Walked Out of The Singapore-Malaysia High Speed Railway Project
Japanese firm, including East Japan Railway Co, have opted out of participating in the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project. Photo: The Straits Times

The Malaysian and Singaporean governments initially reached a basic agreement in 2013 on the project, which called for building a 350-kilometer-long high-speed rail link that would cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and the city-state to just 90 minutes, compared with over four hours by car.

In 2015, Japan’s Transport Minister, Kei-Ichi Ishi-i pitched the Shinkansen bullet train railway system to the Malaysian government. Following the news, Japanese firms, East Japanese Railway Co., and House Sumitomo Corp have expressed interest in joining the H-S-R project.

However, the project faced many difficulties, in 2021 The project was canceled by former Malaysian Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yasin due to financial concerns, then in 2023, it was resumed by PM Anwar.

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