Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and China Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian officiate the opening ceremony of the Malaysia-China SMEs Business Matching Conference 2018 here today.

KUALA LUMPUR: China and Japan are the two countries have so far confirmed participation in the international tender for the RM60 billion KL-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR), Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.

"The international tender for the 350km HSR linking Kuala Lumpur to Singapore will close on the 29th June 2018. Only then can we reveal the exact number of contenders.

"As of now, I can only say China and Japan have openly confirmed their participation in this open tender," he said.

Liow was speaking with reporters after China Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian officiated at the opening ceremony of the Malaysia-China SMEs Business Matching Conference 2018 here today.

Also present at the press conference were Chinese Enterprises Association in Malaysia (CENAM) president Wang Hong Wei, who is also chief executive officer of Bank of China in Malaysia, Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) president Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap, ACCCIM secretary general Datuk Low Kian Chuan and SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang.

On December 20th 2017, Malaysia’s MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd and Singapore’s HSR Private Ltd announced they would start accepting bids for a railway 'assets company' which will be responsible for designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining all rail assets.

Bidders must submit their proposals to MyHSR Corp, a unit under Malaysia’s Finance Ministry tasked to oversee the project.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani had recently said the project would cost between RM50 billion and RM60 billion.

Malaysia’s MyHSR Corp and Singapore’s HSR will jointly select a qualified bidder by the end of 2018.

To a query if any Malaysian contractors have submitted their bid to participate in the KL-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project, Liow replied, “I don’t know, let's wait until after 29th June 2018 when the tender closes.”

Slated for completion by end-2026, the KL-Singapore HSR will have a maximum operating speed of 320km per hour and run on a double track with a single gauge.

It will cut travelling time between the nations' capitals to 90 minutes, compared with the near 5-hour drive, under normal traffic condition.

The 350km HSR line will connect Bandar Malaysia, the site of a former airforce camp in Kuala Lumpur, to Putrajaya, Seremban, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri, before terminating at Jurong East in Singapore via a bridge over the Straits of Johor.

In December 2016, leaders of Malaysia and Singapore Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Lee Hsien Loong signed an agreement detailing the legal requirements of the 350km HSR line connecting the two nations.

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