Malaysia to propose early construction of Singapore-Kunming rail link

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — Malaysia will submit new proposals to speed up the construction of the Singapore Kunming Rail Link (SKRL) project, which connects eight countries by rail, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi said the SKRL project connecting Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos PDR and the People’s Republic of China was started in 1996 but was delayed due to unfinished “missing link” sections spanning 1,780 kilometres in several areas.

“Malaysia as the permanent chairman of the SKRL Special Working Group will bring the matter up in the next committee meeting,” he told the Dewan Rakyat here today.

He was replying to a question from Datuk Hasan bin Arifin (BN-Rompin) who asked the Transport Minister the status of the SKRL 6,617.5 km-long project, which spreads over eight countries.

He said the continuation of the missing link in the range between the Klong Sip Kao Junction to Aranyaprathet to Klong Luk in Thailand was due for completion in February next year while the section from Poipet in Phnom Penh in Cambodia was to be completed in 2017.

“However, the ‘missing links’ from Myanmar to Thailand, Cambodia to Vietnam, Vietnam to China and Myanmar to China were still at the proposal stage while discussions were being held with third parties for sponsorships,” he said.

Meanwhile, replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar (PKR-Tumpat) who suggested that the SKRL project included the East Coast of the peninsula, Ab Aziz said the railway line from Pasir Mas to Rantau Panjang in Kelantan had to be closed upon the advice of the National Security Council.

“This is because of the turmoil in South Thailand and we also have to get the agreement of the Thai government first if we want to continue the rail to the East Coast,” he said. — Bernama

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