PETALING JAYA: In the wake of a possible fallout between the Chinese and Malaysian governments over the Bandar Malaysia property deal lapsing, Japan is increasing its push to get a lucrative tender for a high-speed rail (HSR) link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Yesterday, TRX City Sdn Bhd said a deal had lapsed to sell 60% of Bandar Malaysia, a major property development project on the site of the former Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur, because the “buyers failed to meet the payment obligations”.
The “buyers” in question is a consortium comprising Iskandar Waterfront Holdings, owned by Malaysian tycoon Lim Kang Hoo, and China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC). CREC is a unit of state-owned China Railway Group.
The deal was seen by many analysts as a leveraging point for CREC to also get the HSR contract, as Bandar Malaysia was the main stop for the HSR link in KL.
The fallout may help the Japanese government, which is stepping up its efforts to win the tender for the proposed 350km HSR project costing an estimated RM60 billion, Nikkei Asian Review reported.
Backed by the proven Shinkansen HSR system, the Japanese bid will see both the public and private sectors coming together.
“We will push for a specific proposal involving financing, talent development and collaboration with local companies,” Keichi Ishii, Japan’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism was quoted as saying by the daily.
Ishii was speaking to reporters in Kuala Lumpur, where he was attending a high-speed rail symposium highlighting the safety and reliability of Shinkansen technology.
Among the Japanese companies represented at the symposium were Sumitomo Corp, Mitsui Fudosan, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Hitachi, JR East Railway, Nikkei Sekkei, Taisei Corp, Daiwa House Industry and NEC Corp.
Ishii will be meeting with three Malaysian ministers involved in the HSR project before moving on to meet his Singapore counterpart, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
Aside from Japan and China, the HSR project is also expected to see bids by South Korean and French companies.
It was previously reported that Malaysia’s MyHSR Corporation, a company under the finance ministry, and Singapore’s Land Transport Authority would invite bids for the joint development project for the HSR later this year.
The HSR would link Bandar Malaysia in KL with the Jurong Lake District in Singapore, with stops in Seremban (Negeri Sembilan), Melaka, and the Johor towns of Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri (formerly Nusajaya).
With the potential to travel at speeds of up to 320kph, the HSR will move passengers between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in 90 minutes.
The winning company will be responsible for the design and construction of the railway systems, including rolling stock, tracks, power, signalling and telecommunications.