PETALING JAYA: Malaysia intends to continue with the 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, Indonesia.
The meeting 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 will be able to enjoy an efficient public transportation system in passenger or cargo service.
"At the same time, the Asean secretariat shares the same views as Malaysia in 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.
Dr Wee said such discussions among Asean countries were very important as it involved the joint recognition of rail standards and traffic signals as well as the sharing of information in the development of high-speed rail.
The technical expertise and financial assistance from China to Asean countries in the SKRL project were very much appreciated, he added.
"It cannot be forgotten that China has also supplied the technical expertise in the construction of China-Lao High-Speed rail and the 665-km East Coast Rail Link (in Malaysia), which is expected to be completed in 2026," he said.
Dr Wee said overall, the strategic adjustment plan in the Asean-China partnership has been smooth despite the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic in the past three years.