KUALA LUMPUR, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia's railway sector is rapidly advancing due to close cooperation with China on a number of projects in the railway sector, Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said.
This has not only created jobs but also has provided a key driving force behind the country's efforts to develop its railway sector through technology and skills transfer, especially with the participation of local companies, Loke told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Citing two major examples of such cooperation in Malaysia, namely the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) Rolling Stock Center based in Perak state and the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), Malaysia's mega rail project being built by China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), Loke said Malaysia has benefitted from them and improved its capacity in the sector.
Zooming in on the Rolling Stock Center, China's first overseas manufacturing base of its kind, focusing on manufacturing, overhaul as well as service and maintenance, Loke said the majority of its workforce are locals with the aim of eventual technology transfers.
"Their policy is to employ as many locals as possible," he said. "Going forward, it must be a win-win situation. It must benefit both sides."
He also said the ECRL had been a positive experience for Malaysia. "It is a direct involvement from Chinese companies in this project. And they have the capacity and technology know-how to undertake such a major project. And we look forward to more cooperation in the future," he said.
The ECRL includes a large locally-sourced workforce with a significant portion of work being carried out by Malaysian companies and makes use of high-tech methods including state-of-the-art Chinese-made tunnel boring machines (TBM) to excavate some of the longest tunnels in the region.
"Malaysia's transportation industry has also been rejuvenated by the participation of Chinese enterprises. Key projects in Malaysia constructed by Chinese enterprises have delivered a great performance in terms of construction speed, technological construction and project image," Loke said.
"In the future, Malaysia will upgrade its public transportation system and develop an Intelligent Transportation System. We hope more Chinese enterprises will take part in the projects," Loke added. ■