Friday 17 February 2017

May the Japanese beat the Chinese on the HSR

Everyone thought the Chinese are going to get everything in this country.

Me too.

But apparently not so.

The fight is apparently still on for the High Speed Rail (HSR) project between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

The Japanese are apparently still not giving up.

I was actually happy when I read this news by The Japan Times earlier this morning,

Japan makes shinkansen safety pitch in bid for Malaysia-Singapore rail contract

Japan pitched its safety record to Malaysia at a high-speed rail symposium Friday as it plays catch-up with China in chasing a lucrative project to link Kuala Lumpur with Singapore by train.
The symposium, hosted for the second year in a row by the Japanese government, was attended by Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai and Japan’s Junzo Yamamoto, a senior vice minister in the transport ministry.
“Safety is the biggest characteristic of the shinkansen,” Yamamoto said in his speech at the symposium, “It has maintained an impeccable record with zero fatalities in its 50 years of operation.”
In a news conference later, he said Japan has agreed to collaborate with Malaysia’s regulator, the Land Public Transport Commission of Malaysia, better known by its Malay acronym SPAD, to develop the railway sector.
“We will be enhancing in terms of capacity-building, sharing of best practices and other areas of cooperation through collaboration between universities and research institutes, training in Japan as well as dispatch of experts to Malaysia,” he said.
After the symposium, Yamamoto held talks with Malaysian officials led by SPAD Chairman Syed Hamid Albar and MyHSR Corp Sdn. Bhd. Chief Executive Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal.
MyHSR is the developer and asset owner of the ambitious project that was first announced by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsieng Loong in February 2013.
The rail line would stretch about 350 km along the west coast of the Malay Peninsula from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore and have an estimated travel time of about 90 minutes.
A memorandum of understanding between the two governments is expected to be inked by middle of this year, to be followed by a more binding bilateral agreement later, before a tender can be called, which some news reports said could be in the first quarter of 2017.
While the governments are ironing out the kinks, competition is heating up among the favorites, China and Japan, for a contract unofficially estimated to be worth between $10 billion and $18 billion.
On the surface, China appears to be leading the race.
If in the 1980s and ’90s, Japan stamped its mark on every major project in Malaysia under former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s “Look East” policy, today it’s China.
Some of its high-profile projects include the $1.1 billion Second Penang Bridge and the $2 billion Gemas-Johor Baru electric double-track rail.
In the rail sector, some 80 percent of Malaysia’s rolling stock is supplied by China Railway Rolling Stock Corp., which opened a $97 million manufacturing plant in northern Perak state last year.
But what many felt would tip the scale in China’s favor was when another state-owned company, China Railway Group Ltd., which is eyeing the HSR project, together with its local partner Iskandar Waterfront Holdings, acquired a 60 percent stake in Bandar Malaysia, a new 486-acre commercial and residential development in the city center where the proposed HSR terminal will be located on the Malaysia end.
They bought it last December from debt-laden state-investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad for 7.41 billion ringgit ($1.82 billion).
Three months later, China Railway Group Ltd. announced plans to invest $2 billion for a regional center in Bandar Malaysia that it hoped would give it an edge over rivals bidding for the HSR project.
“Our regional center is here, not our competitors. We find resources together with our local developer in infrastructure . . . I cannot find (anyone) who can match us,” General Manager Cai Zemin told reporters after a grand ceremony to unveil their investment plan that was attended by Najib.
The China Railway deal with 1MDB came after another Chinese state-owned firm, China General Nuclear Corp., paid over $2.3 billion for 1MDB’s power assets.
The sales of the power assets and Bandar Malaysia were part of 1MDB’s strategy to pare down a massive debt estimated at 50 billion ringgit as of this January.
1MDB is under investigation at home and abroad for possible fraud and money laundering. A parliamentary inquiry had found questionable dealings and unexplained outflows of funds ranging in the billions of dollars.
The scandal has become a millstone around the neck of Najib, who chairs the 1MDB advisory board. He is under pressure to resign.
Transportation consultant Goh Bok Yen believed Najib may feel indebted to China for bailing out 1MDB.
“China saves 1MDB, China saves Najib,” he told Kyodo News, “Today they come in, they throw in money. Stage one, they are in the forerun . . . China is hitting the nail at the right places.”
But he cautioned that since the project also involves Singapore, the sentiment there may not necessarily be pro-China.
MyHSR’s Nur Ismal brushed away talk about China being the front-runner as mere speculation. He said all bids will be evaluated fairly.
Besides Japan and China, others who have expressed interest in the high-speed rail project are from South Korea and Europe.

I hope the Japanese get the project.

I'm just not comfortable with the Chinese getting every project in the country.

It's just not strategically wise to let that happens.

Anyway, I always prefer the Shinkansen for the HSR as I posted here,

Please let it be the Shinkansen

Japanese trip and Shinkansen

Another thing is that, if the Japanese get this project, people can't say we are selling off the country to the Chinese.

We can say, "Hey, the Japanese got some of it too, what!"

It's good that way, okay.

It shows our country is still good for business too.

Not everything sapu by the Chinese.

As pointed out in the Japan Times article, the Singaporeans may lobby for the Shinkansen too as they would prefer the proven track record, especially on safety.

Yes, go Singapore!

Here, another Shinkansen video,

Okay, need to work now.



  1. we can acquire the safest system and pay through the nose which by the way there are enormous incentives for getting the best, nudge nudge wink wink say no more, but with a tidak apa and no maintenance work ethics the possibilities are scary
    btw, how come it's spad and not the transport ministry that should be involved in the negotiations? why do we need a commission when we already have a ministry

  2. Annie,

    I don't think the Japanese will get the project.

    Several reasons.

    1/ Malaysia will want to align itself with the long-term goals of China and this includes the "One Belt, One Road".

    If you look at the broad picture, the HSR fits in very nicely with the OBOR vision of Xi Jinping.

    2/ China and Japan still do have some issues to address, eg the Nanjing Massacre.

    The Japanese have never really apologised for it and Beijing is smart enough to exploit this internally every so often.

    Beijing will go all out to win the HSR project.

    3/ The most important factor which will work against the Japanese is that the Japanese are not well-known for making "donations".

    Yes, I am sure when push comes to shove, the Japanese will make "donations" but I don't think it is in their nature as such.

    So, my money is on China to build the HSR.


  3. “China saves 1MDB, China saves Najib,” he told Kyodo News, “Today they come in, they throw in money. Stage one, they are in the forerun . . . China is hitting the nail at the right places.”

    I agree with Glady and ...because of 1MDB's Billions of debt... some of it not accounted for... Najib and most probably Jho Low too, are indebted to China.

  4. " Transportation consultant Goh Bok Yen believed Najib may feel indebted to China for bailing out 1MDB.
    “China saves 1MDB, China saves Najib,” he told Kyodo News, “Today they come in, they throw in money. Stage one, they are in the forerun . . . China is hitting the nail at the right places.”
    But he cautioned that since the project also involves Singapore, the sentiment there may not necessarily be pro-China."

    Basically, China is the only country willing to bail out the sorry backside of this pink-lipped thief.

    The ECRL was doubled in cost just so the Bugis pondan could cover the scam of stealing from Aabar in UAE.

    1MDB is going to lose the case in London.

    Gali lobang, tutup lobang.

    Why Hadi Bawang wants to sleep with this depraved klepocrat is beyond me.

    1. and not to mention.......the ercl contract also covered losses of jho low company

      malaysian taxpayer kena liwat kow kow



  5. Wa manyak ingat lea aa ,itu Jepun tatk bolih lapat itu projek maa aa ,pasat Jepun tatak itu budaya kasi lasuah maa aa ,tatak macam Cina lea aa.

    Sikalang manyak olang cekap itu 'money talk' maa aa , no kasi no bagi lor rr.

  6. 1mdb is under WHAT investigation at home??? May annie write another article to update all???

    1. Who dare to investigate anything. UMNO also kecut when comes to jho low. Amazingly powerful. I think he is equal if not the most powerful in Malaysia. No institution dare touch him. Ketuanan or no ketuanan, all put aside.

  7. Anonymous @ 17 February 2017 at 17:48,

    //Why Hadi Bawang wants to sleep with this depraved klepocrat is beyond me.//

    That is an easy question to answer.

    By "sleeping" with the "depraved klepocrat (sic)", Hadi Bawang hopes to control the lives of ordinary Malaysians.

    By controlling the lives of ordinary Malaysians, Hadi Bawang believes he will get to go to Paradise.

    Unfortunately for Hadi Bawang, it appears that all his dreams have now turned to shit because Sarawak appears to be against voting for RUU355.

    Perhaps Sarawak feels that more punishment is not the answer when it is the ulama who has failed to teach Islam to the ummah.


  8. Anonymous @ 17 February 2017 at 23:19,

    //1mdb is under WHAT investigation at home???//

    1MDB has already been extensively investigated at home by the MACC.

    I am surprised you are not aware of that :)

    I am even more surprised that you seem unaware that nobody has been found guilty of any wrongdoings and the case is now closed by the Attorney-General, Apandi Ali.

    As far as I can tell, all those people in jail or under investigation in Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Switzerland, the US, etc, are being prosecuted for who-knows-what :)


  9. So annie should write whether its 1mdb NO wrongdoings or 1mdb cover-up???

  10. Gladiator, since no one 'guilty' then why 1mdb report OSAed??? Nothing to hide meh according to kangkung LOL!!!

    1. Anonymous @ 19 February 2017 at 00:39,

      //since no one 'guilty' then why 1mdb report OSAed???//

      And that is precisely the point :)

      It has been OSAed to ensure that those who have been deemed "Not Guilty" by our Attorney-General will not be, in fact, found guilty :)

      *Sigh* It is just so hard to come up with clever sarcastic answers - I am just not clever enough like some other commentators.

      OK, let me try another approach - something more direct

      The fact is that, as far as I know, for the time being, we have no legal avenues in Malaysia to figure out what is happening in 1MDB.

      This sounds a bit strange because other countries seem to have a lot of evidence of wrongdoings with regards to 1MDB.


  11. Galdiator side with both government and opposition
    At the same time he is on nobodies sides
    He 50 50
    But this is a sham, bullshit, all smoke and mirrors
    In reality he is 55 percent government umno and 45 percent opposition

    1. Anonymous @ 19 February 2017 at 18:50,

      //Galdiator side with both government and opposition//

      That is because I am a nice guy :)

      //At the same time he is on nobodies sides//

      It is a skill I am trying to perfect. :)

      //In reality he is 55 percent government umno and 45 percent opposition//

      Hm, is that how it comes across?

      Damn!! I was hoping I came across as being 100% on my side :)

      You may like to look up my older posts here and find out who I voted for in GE13.


    2. Gladiator 1625 is an idiot. Hahaha