Thursday, December 06, 2007

Malaysian bullet train going to Singapore?

Malaysian tycoon Francis Yeoh has made it clear again that he plans to build a bullet train service all the way to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur, according to a report today.

Will he and his YTL Corporation succeed in linking the capitals of Malaysia and Singapore via a fast train that could cut down travel time to less than two hours for many long-suffering travelers between the two countries?

“I am confident (to secure the project) because everybody wants it. The Malaysian government is pragmatic and at the end of the day if the public wants it, why not?,” he reportedly said.

Sure, everybody wants it. But can the two governments agree to such a plan that will greatly benefit the people of the two countries? Can the two governments really cooperate for the benefit of the population of the two countries or will they be driven by their narrow self-interest?

Sophie's World is not sanguine. Apart from problems arising from Malaysia's haphazard railway blueprint, the two governments can't even agree on very basic and long outstanding matters such as the:

1. Renewal of the water agreements between Malaysia and Singapore;
2. Redevelopment of the Malaysian railway land in Singapore;
3. Exchange of land in Singapore for the joint redevelopment of the Malaysian railway land
4. Use of Malaysian airspace by Singapore;
5. Sale of Malaysian sand to Singapore for reclamation;
6. Release of CPF funds of West Malaysians who no longer work in Singapore;
7. Dispute over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Putih;
8. Diversion of heavy traffic to the Second Link from the causeway;
9. Plan to build an overhead bridge to replace the old causeway; and
10. Cleaning up the filthy Straits of Johor, which separates the two countries.

Like the current talk (just talk) to build a monorail link between the southern Malaysian city of Johor Baru and Singapore, it will be more ideal to build a new bridge to replace the causeway to facilitate the bullet train project. Please read earlier posting.

Now, where is the new Asean Charter?