KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia aims to export its rail technology post-2027 when the country's total rail mileage is expected to reach 3,000km, said Prime Minister Najib Razak at the annual land public transport symposium on Monday (Oct 23).
According to Malaysia’s land public transport commission, the goal is for 40 per cent of commuters to use land public transport in the Greater Klang Valley by the year 2030.
Speaking at the symposium, Mr Najib announced that the launch of the Mass Rapid Transit system coupled with the extension of the Light Rail Transit network have now boosted the number of people commuting by rail in Kuala Lumpur daily to around 500,000.
The East Coast Rail Link connecting the east coast with the west of Peninsular Malaysia, as well as the High-speed Rail (HSR) project linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, will create some 100,000 highly skilled engineering jobs over the next decade, he said.
"If we get it right, we may be able to export high-quality and high-value Malaysian expertise overseas to help build mega infrastructure projects in other countries," Mr Najib said.
The focus of the two-day event was the launch of the tender process for the HSR project linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which is slated for December.
The tender is for the contract to become the assets company (AssetsCo) for the HSR project, which targets a rollout date of 2026 for the rail service.
Japan and China also showcased their latest rail technologies at the symposium as competition heats up ahead of the open tender for the HSR.
"Prime Minister Abe is very much keen on the HSR project. We will definitely try our best when the bid opens. Japan Rail has a zero fatality record," said the vice-president of East Japan Railway Company, Masaki Ogata.
Chairman of state-owned China Railway International, Yang Zhongmin said: "China will bring with it the best technology at the most efficient cost and finance package. We have the largest HSR network in the world totaling more than 22,000km."
German company Siemens AG has also formed a consortium with Malaysian construction company George Kent to bid for the HSR.
The AssetsCo will be responsible for designing, building, financing and maintaining all rolling stock and all rail assets, such as the track-work, power, signalling and telecommunication systems.
It will also develop and implement a network code to coordinate the system’s network capacity for operations and maintenance needs.