SEGAMAT, Malaysia - A railway upgrading project undertaken by Chinese companies in southern Malaysia will further boost ties between the two countries, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said here Tuesday.
The Gemas to Johor Bahru electric double-tracking railway project, contracted to China Railway Construction Corporation, China Railway Engineering Corporation and China Communications Construction Company, will bring many benefits including enhancing bilateral ties between Malaysia and China, Najib said at the ground-breaking ceremony of the project.
"Our ties and economic relations will be further strengthened with the implementation of this project," he said.
The project would involve local contractors, providing opportunities and economic spillovers, said the prime minister.
Ning Jizhe, deputy director of China's National Development and Reform Commission, was also present at the ground-breaking ceremony. He said as an important part of infrastructure building and railway cooperation between China and Malaysia, the project will see heavy local involvement.
Meanwhile, Chinese companies will transfer the technology know-how to the locals, bringing a win-win situation to the two people and the two countries, he said.
Azli, a local staff at the Segamat train station, said locals had long been looking forward to a railway upgrade. Due to the capacity and speed limit of the old single track, few people travel by trains nowadays.
That would soon be changed. The Gemas to Johor Bahru electric double-tracking railway project, covers more than 190 kilometers, will upgrade the existing single-track to electric double-track.
Upon completion in 2020, it will complete a south-north double-tracking railway network running from Johor Bahru bordering Singapore in the South to Padang Besar in the north at the Malaysia-Thailand border.