Singapore and Malaysia announced plans this week to build a high-speed rail link, fuelling hopes that Southeast Asia could one day enjoy a rapid European-style train system connected to China.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak hailed the project, which would cut travel time between the city-state and Kuala Lumpur to 90 minutes. The target year for completion is 2020.
“This is a strategic development in bilateral relations that will dramatically improve the connectivity between Malaysia and Singapore,” the leaders said in a joint statement issued after meeting in Singapore.
“It will facilitate seamless travel between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, enhance business linkages and bring the peoples of Malaysia and Singapore closer together.”
The existing rail link between the two countries dates back to the period of British colonial rule over both, with stops at several Malaysian towns. The current Singapore-Kuala Lumpur service takes more than seven hours.
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