PM Anwar says will review report on Japanese rail firms opting out of HSR project

KAJANG, Jan 12 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said he had just received the report that Japanese companies, including East Japan Railway Co, have chosen not to participate in the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project before the request for information (RFI) deadline.

He said he will have to review the report first before commenting further on the matter.

“We have just received the report and I will look at it,” he briefly told reporters after Friday prayers at Al-Hijrah mosque here, today.

Japan-based news outlet Kyodo News reported that the Japanese firms had initially intended to utilise the Shinkansen bullet train system for the 350km rail project, but later decided against it.

Citing government and company sources, the report said it would be too risky for the firms to do so without financial assistance from the Malaysian government.

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project is expected to cost RM100 billion, but the federal government intends to promote it through private financing rather than by government spending or extending debt guarantees.

The report added that the latest development would see rival Chinese railway companies in possibly securing the project. This follows the increased presence of China’s infrastructure building in East Asia after they completed a high-speed railway in 2023 in Indonesia and are currently building another in Thailand.

While Japanese firms are dropping out, Kyodo News said several local companies are planning to jointly collaborate with Chinese and European firms to make bids.

The deadline for the RFI for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project, which started soliciting bids in July last year, is on Monday.



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