Photo of PM Najib Razak and PM Shinzo Abe from Reuters

Following Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak’s visit today, Japan Prime Minister Shizo Abe pitched Japan’s advanced shinkansen technology to PM Najib Razak for the upcoming Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR).

The KL-Singapore HSR agreement will be signed next month in December and an open tender will be called for the construction project. State-backed railway companies China, France, US, Germany and Japan are key contenders for the project as Singapore and Malaysia lacks advanced railway engineering capabilities.

The lucrative project is estimated at S$21 billion and is expected to be complete by 2026.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said:

“I expressed (to Najib) my strong expectation that Japan’s shinkansen technology will be adopted. The process of decision will be done in an open, transparent and objective manner, and that the project is uppermost in the minds of the government of Japan.”

The tender decision looks likely to rest on Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak’s hand as most stations are situated in Malaysia, with only one terminal station in Jurong East of Singapore.

In the meeting between the two countries’ premiers, Shinzo Abe also offered to give Malaysia two de-commissioned patrol vessels which the latter gladly accepted.