China and Japan are the only two countries left in the race to win the bidding for the massive high-speed rail transportation project that will link Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, said the klhighspeedrail.com portal.
However, the question we may ask is whether the other competitors seem to have simply accepted the fact that they are out of the race?
While most sources are pointing to Japan as the leading party in the bidding.
The Today Online portal in Singapore said Japan Rail, Japan Bank for International Cooperation and NEC Japan are the companies that are leading the bidding from Japan.
It also said it had been previously reported that Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation was also interested in partnering with China Railway Corporation to bid for a contract.
Almost 400 participants from 165 international and local organisations, reflecting the keen interest in the mega project.
The tender, which will be called by the end of the year, 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.
The bulk of the firms came from the 67 entities in Europe, followed by 29 from Malaysia, 25 from Singapore, and 21 from other parts of Asia. The rest were from North America and Australia.
Among them are six Singapore firms that intend to team up and partner with international players, to jointly participate in the HSR project. They are Clifford Capital, DBS Bank, Sembcorp Design and Construction, SMRT International, Surbana Jurong and Singapore Technologies Electronics.
Nevertheless, klhighspeedrail.com said that going by media reports alone, the Japanese appear to have packaged an attractive deal that would meet many of the national objectives.
“Japan is offering technology that Malaysia needs to get out of the middle-income trap and financial package that would help us reduce its financial burden at a time when our national debt is soaring.
“With the financial assistance of the likes of the Japanese, Malaysia would be able to carry out many other infrastructural projects without any due strain on its national debt,” said the article.
The writer said Malaysia appears to have cracked the code in its long quest to raise its technological prowess and escape the middle-income trap through industry-academia collaboration with this new arrangement between the Japanese and the local universities.
“It has long harboured greater industry-academia collaboration with a hope that academia would assist industry by carrying out industry-driven research.
“The technologies generated in these universities could be adaptable to other industries, not just high-speed rail and will push up the entire technology competence of Malaysia.
“The 350-kilometer HSR is intended to cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to 90 minutes and stimulate the economy of several localities along the route, and it is projected to start operations around 2026,” it said.