There were some rumblings about whether the High Speed Rail (HSR) would benefit Malaysia as much as Singapore. It is said that the project will benefit Singapore more. My personal view? As long as there are benefits to both countries and it is an enhancement in connectivity between two small countries when compared to Thailand or even Indonesia, we MUST do it. The economic benefits would be enormous and this is not a calculation of whether Malaysia gains more or Singapore gains more or for a project which benefits both parties at 50:50. There are news that the tender would be called in 2015. If the news is true, then I think 2020 is indeed a very realistic year that I may get to travel to Singapore for lunch after a breakfast in KL and come back in time for dinner in KL after a coffee break session with my friends in Singapore. Life’s good.
Japan’s Sumitomo Corp has expressed its interest to participate in the HSR project and most probably companies from China, Japan, France and even Spain will be bidding for it, jointly with local partners. I think an Asian company would win. I do not wish to doubt the capabilities of any of the companies bidding for it but I think in terms of technology, as long as all of them are able to meet the needed specifications, cost would be the main differentiation factor. In my mind, Asian companies are definitely more cost effective. I welcome the French and the Spanish to prove me wrong. If that happens, the benefits would still be for the HSR.
Just today, a friend who is in a real estate agency asked me about the potential of bubble in Iskandar. To be honest, I seriously do think there’s an oversupply because the Chinese developers from China are really building projects which are huge. Just one Country Garden alone is building a project which are normally carried out by 10 small developers or 5 big developers. However, bubble? I think if the HSR project is abandoned, all the Singaporean companies which is investing in Iskandar decided to pull out, all the universities which are operating or is soon to operate decided not to plus a host of other reasons, then a bubble is a sure thing. As of now, I would think, not.
As for bullet trains, there’s a good reading about bullet trains on www.mapsofworld.com For a good general understanding, do refer to it.
written on 3 Oct 2014
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