October 18, 2022
KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia is keen to continue collaborative efforts to complete the Singapore-Kunming rail line, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
The Transport Minister said he had stressed this matter during his speech at the 21st meeting of the Asean Transport Ministers with China in Bali which was jointly chaired virtually by China’s vice-minister of Transport Dai Dongchang and Indonesian Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi.
“In my speech, I emphasised that as permanent chairman of the special working committee on the Singapore-Kunming Rail Line (SWG-SKRL), we intend to continue with collaborative efforts to complete the project so that Asean countries can enjoy an efficient public transportation system in passenger or cargo service.
“At the same time, the Asean secretariat shares Malaysia’s view that there is a need to have discussions on the construction of cross-border rail transport and cooperation in new rail projects involving all Asean countries, especially those not involved in the SKRL,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.
Dr Wee said such discussions among Asean countries were crucial as it involved joint recognition of rail standards and traffic signals as well as the sharing of information on the development of high-speed rail.
Technical expertise and financial assistance from China to Asean countries in the SKRL project was much appreciated, Dr Wee added.
“It cannot be forgotten that China has also supplied technical expertise in the construction of the China-Lao High-Speed Rail and the 665km East Cost Rail Link (in Malaysia), which is expected to be completed in 2026,” he further stated.
The Singapore-Kunming railway, or popularly known as the Pan–Asia Railway Network, is a network of railways that connects China, Singapore and all countries of mainland South-East Asia.
Dr Wee said overall, the strategic adjustment plan in the Asean-China partnership had been smooth despite the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic in the past three years.
The minister also said a more robust air transport relationship between Asean countries and Japan was coming to fruition, adding this was brought up during the Asean and Japan Transport Ministers Meeting, which was held as part of the 28th Asean Transport Ministers meeting in Bali.
“The ATM+Japan meeting is also close to concluding a more liberal and mutually beneficial Asean-Japan Air Services Agreement with a view to enhancing the air transport relationship between Asean and Japan. Japan’s efforts have also resulted in establishing the Aviation Security framework, which allows Asean and Japan to work together to improve and effectively implement security measures in a post-Covid-19 world,” he said.
Dr Wee said Malaysia also offered to continue hosting Vessel Traffic System training for Asean countries at the Maritime Training Institute in Port Klang.