With China’s help, Malaysia can build trains too, says Loke

John Bunyan
Transport Ministry Anthony Loke and Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian (right) visit China Railway Rolling Stock Corp's Rolling Stock Centre in Batu Gajah January 3, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

BATU GAJAH, Jan 3 ― Malaysia hopes to develop its train manufacturing industry with the help of China’s largest manufacturer, China Railway Rolling Stock Corp (CRRC), said Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

Loke said CRRC is planning to expand its Rolling Stock Centre here and he hoped that it will result in the transfer of technology through its joint venture with local companies.

“All this while, we have seen train as only a mode of transportation. We have been purchasing the vehicle from outsiders and we don’t want to carry the tradition. We want to build up the industry.

“At the moment, we don’t have the expertise in the industry. But with the expansion of the current manufacturing company here, we hope they could transfer their technology to the locals,” he told reporters after visiting the manufacturing plant here.

Loke said presently, about 85 per cent of the workers in CRRC’s plant are locals, with some sent to China to hone their skills and climb up the ranks.

The CRRC Rolling Stock Centre, which was established in 2015 at the cost of RM400 million, is the first and the only train manufacturing centre in the Asean region.

Loke said Malaysia is set to become Asean's train manufacturing hub with the expansion of the plant.

“The current plant is manufacturing about 200 train cars per year for the local market. However, with the expansion, they could double the manufacturing,” he said.  

About 200 train cars are manufactured each year at China Railway Rolling Stock Corp's Rolling Stock Centre in Batu Gajah. — Picture by Farhan Najib

“Thus, it would allow Malaysia to export the train cars to Asean markets. Every country is developing and train transportation has become a popular and affordable mode of transportation in many big cities such as Bangkok and Jakarta in the Asean region.

“There is demand for light rail transit, metro, suburban rail, locomotive, cargo train and a few others in the Asean market,” he added.

Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian said CRRC is a successful project cooperation between China and Malaysia.

“Both the countries share the common vision of exploring the Asean market in supplying railway and train equipment.

“And by looking at the future, I believe Malaysia and China’s corporation has great potential in realising the dream,” he said.

Bai Tian also said that CRRC is not China’s only success story in Malaysia, with the country having also invested in about 400 Malaysian products worth US$110 billion, creating 16,800 jobs.

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