The Edge Markets: Study on national railway to ensure full benefits — Dr M

TOKYO (Nov 7): The Malaysian government’s efforts to get the JR Kyushu Railway Company’s cooperation to look into the problems of national railway is to ensure that the services are fully beneficial to the nation and the people, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Prime Minister said Malaysia requested the Japanese company’s cooperation to conduct a study so that the roles and benefits of the railway services could be enhanced including in terms of cargo delivery.

“Currently, our train services are almost completed… (including) double tracking and electrification. However, only 30% are being used and there are 70% of unused potential railways,” he told Malaysian reporters on the final day of his three-day working visit to Japan.

Dr Mahathir said many large containers were transported by road which was inefficient and would disrupt the traffic due to its large size.

“We have used railway for transportation of containers and big items. Our railway is electrified but cannot carry containers. In Japan there is a system for trains to move the trade,” he said.

The study by JR Kyushu Railway was one of the issues discussed during Dr Mahathir’s meeting with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe here Tuesday.

Abe was reported as saying that a group of experts from the Japanese railway company would be in Malaysia at the end of this month to look into related objectives.

Dr Mahathir said Japan had a lot of experience in railway services, which was previously owned by the government and had always suffered losses.

The line-up of the Shinkansen JR rolling stock

“So they privatised the service to several companies. They gained profit especially JR Kyushu. That’s why we go to Kyushu to see the railway administration to study how they can be successful,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said the “Look East Policy” not only involved Japan, but also China and South Korea.

He said the objective of the policy was not only to attract investment but also to learn many aspects from countries in the East, particularly Japan.

“How they could succeed. The success or failure of the people or race depended on the value of life they upheld,” he said.

He said that right from the start, the Japanese had decided to copy the West but not in total.

“They retained the values of life… just in terms of technology, knowledge, the arrangement of the government they obtained from the West. In terms of work, they still maintained the Japanese values,” he said.

The Prime Minister said he was happy with the appreciation and the highest Japanese award, the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, conferred on him by the Emperor of Japan on Tuesday which showed that Malaysia was their friend.

This article first appeared in http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/study-national-railway-ensure-full-benefits-%E2%80%94-dr-m

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