TOKYO: The Malaysian government’s efforts to get the JR Kyushu Railway Company’s cooperation to look into the problems of the national railway is to ensure that services are fully beneficial to the nation and the people, according to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Dr Mahathir said Malaysia had requested the Japanese company’s cooperation in conducting a study so that the roles and benefits of 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 traffic due to their large size.
“We have to use 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 with railways, which were previously owned by the government and had always suffered losses.
“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. — Bernama