I was in Hong Kong a few weeks ago and would most probably visit it again in a few weeks’ time. Their Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is good. MTR would be known as MRT here in Malaysia. We are about to have a fully operational MRT Line 1 by July 2017. MTR Hong Kong is in fact, extremely good. The stations are easily accessible and if we miss one, it’s really possible for a short walk and we will get into another station. When I read the possibility of MTR as a potential partner in the bidding for HSR KL – SG, I am naturally happy. I think this helps tremendously with the China ‘stigma’ that many of us have. Full article in South China Morning Post here. As at today, there’s one friend who told me that if a Chinese (China) company wins the bid, he will not dare to take the High Speed Rail from KL – Singapore. I think he will have no choice. Haha. Just kidding, I have no idea which country would ultimately win the bid. Tender opens end of 2017.
According to the article, MTR Corporation Frederick Ma Si-hang said that the company was interested to partner with China Railway Corporation to bud for a contract to build a 350km high speed rail between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Ma said, “We want to expand into new markets under the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative,” Ma said. “But we are careful in considering factors such as financial viability of projects and risks.” Ma also shared that MTR corporation has gained some overseas experience in developed countries and it sets a very stringent set of internal requirements on risks and returns, which are not easily met. He shared that risks relating to politics, financing and corruption had to be mitigated. In terms of financing, it would be resolved through Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). This is AIIB. Completion for the HSR is expected to be in 2026 which is just 9 years away.
It’s a positive factor when we have one very established company becoming a partner to a bidding party. If you ask me, I will NOT be giving to the lowest bidder simply because it is the lowest bidder. I still need to know who’s bidding because ultimately if a wrong bidder wins, any hiccups would mean a long delay. Of course, I hope AIIB would provide the financing which meant that I would favour ASIAN bidders before bidders from out of Asia. We should also note that for this HSR, there are two countries involved. This was what was reported by Straits Times of Singapore about MTR’s announcement. It said that besides China, the other potential bidders include Japan, South Korea, France and the United States. I think one country within these few potential bidders is already out. Which one? Let’s just wait and see. Haha. Happy following.
written on 19 May 2017
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