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Michael Aquino

High-Speed Rail Link to Connect Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Singapore by 2020.

By February 19, 2013

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kuala lumpur petronas towers singapore
Image courtesy of Tourism Malaysia.

Right now, traveling from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on land takes a four- to five-hour trip by bus. By 2020, the travel time between the two major metropolises will be drastically shortened, with the addition of a high speed rail link.

As ChannelNewsAsia.com reports:

Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to build a high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, with a target to complete it by 2020. [...] With the new link, it will take about 90 minutes to get from Singapore to KL and vice versa.

[...] Mr Lee said: "It is a strategic project for the two countries. It will change the way we see each other. It is the way people in London and Paris are able to think of it -- as twin cities, where you can commute, go up there, do business, meet friends, have a meal and come back, all within two thirds of the day.

I find the story remarkable, particularly as the two countries have a sometimes strained relationship borne from their once being a common country, Singapore having been ejected from Malaysia in 1965. Ever since, Malaysia and Singapore have been locked in competition - sometimes friendly, sometimes tense.

But yes, this changes everything: not just for Malaysia and Singapore, which now get ever more interconnected, but for travelers to either place: imagine hanging out in Marina Bay in the morning and checking out the Petronas Twin Towers not three hours later!

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