Expand overseas, PM tells companies in railway sector

SERENDAH, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged railway companies to export their expertise abroad and look for businesses to better serve the country.

He said the government believes in exporting not only raw materials but also finished goods and expertise.

We made the decision for an electrified double-track railway because trains previously could not move at high speed as we had only one line. Now we have two lines and I think in ASEAN, Malaysia is the only one that has electrified the rail line. But it is costly, so we'll have to do it part by part, he told reporters during his visit to Dhaya Maju Infrastructure (Asia) Sdn Bhd's (DMIA) Serendah railyard today.

Dhaya Maju LTAT Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between DMIA and the Armed Forces Fund Board, is the contractor for the RM4.475 billion Klang Valley Double Track 2 (KVDT2) rehabilitation project.

Dhaya Maju is also the contractor for the RM1.41 billion KVDT1, which involves upgrading the Rawang-Salak Selatan and Sentul-Simpang Batu lines. As at June 30, 80.3 per cent of KVDT1 had been completed, with the project slated to be delivered next year, a slight delay from its earlier target.

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government re-negotiated that contract and brought the cost down by 15 per cent to the current price of RM4.475 billion compared with the original RM5.26 billion.

Asked if he was satisfied with the cost saving on the project, he replied: If we save money but have to import (expertise) from others, there is no use. We need to learn. If we want to learn, we need to pay the cost.

Initially, it may not be good; but over time, we (local firms) will improve and achieve the same standard as those in developed countries.

Dr Mahathir also acknowledged Malaysian companies' efforts in improving their skills in the industry.

Source: Prime Minister's Office of Malaysia