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China to hold advantage in bidding for Singapore-Malaysia high-speed rail

By Yuan Can (People's Daily Online)    16:43, July 20, 2016

China will have the upper hand in the bidding for high-speed rail construction project between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, according to various media reports. Many have arrived at this conclusion because of China's acquisition of the Malaysian government investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). China has invested more than $4 billion in the project.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, along with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the high-speed rail project on July 19, according to a statement on the official state website. The MoU was signed by Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan and Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

Construction of the new rail will boost connectivity, strengthen economic ties and forge a closer link between the two nations, the statement read. The MoU laid the foundation for a bilateral treaty, which will be signed at the end of 2016. Malaysian Minister of Transport Liow Tiong Lai said that the bidding will start within a year.

Both Singapore and Malaysia hope to start operation of the high-speed rail by 2026. A report in the Jakarta Post said that the rail is expected to trim travel time between the two countries to just 90 minutes, compared with the four to five hours currently needed to make the trip by road. The 350-kilometer railway line will contain eight stations, seven of which will be in Malaysia, the report said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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