Japan offers facial recognition technology as part of bid for KL-Singapore high-speed rail

An artist's impression of High Speed Rail Terminal in Jurong East, Singapore. PHOTO: FARRELLS

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) - Japan is offering advanced facial recognition technology that would ensure smooth immigration clearance between Malaysia and Singapore, as part of its bid for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail (HSR) project.

This was disclosed by Japan's ambassador to Malaysia Makio Miyagawa during a visit to state news agency Bernama's headquarters on Monday (May 7).

If commuters need to take a long time in immigration, then a high-speed rail will not be efficient and beneficial for the commuters, Miyagawa said.

Japan's bid for the RM50-RM60 billion, 350-km HSR project will also feature a financial package that would include the issuance of sukuk bonds and an overall budget that would cover the required train services and immigration systems.

Miyagawa also highlighted the accident-free record of Japan's own bullet train (shinkansen) system since its introduction in 1964.

"Our country is the first in the world to invent this high speed rail technology, and nowadays it could run between 250 and 320 kilometres per hour," he said.

The envoy said Japan would be also happy to transfer its shinkansen technology to Malaysia and Singapore to ensure that experts from both countries would be able to operate the system by themselves from the get-go.

"We have already offered the shinkansen technology to Taiwan, and they are now operating the system themselves. Also, currently more than 150 of our experts are working for transfer of technology with India for its 500 km HSR between Mumbai and Ahmadabad," he said.

Bids for the KL-Singapore HSR project are due to be submitted by the middle of this year and the successful bidder will be announced by year-end.

Other bids are expected to come from China, South Korea and France for the project, which is expected to be operational by 2026.

The rail link is intended to cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to 90 minutes from the present four to five hours.

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