THE Malaysian government has purchased more trains to meet increasing public demand for the KTM Komuter service. “The commuter service has became more popular after we reduced the waiting time from an hour to 15 minutes,” Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said.
“We bought 22 train units from China during my recent visit to Hunan,” he told reporters after launching the Malaysia-China Cultural and Arts Year on Saturday. The cultural programme is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative for expanded links in the region.
He said the Transport Ministry had bought the trains from CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co, a subsidiary of China's largest locomotive manufacturer China Southern Rail Group, for about 800 million ringgit (Bt6.2 billion).
It was reported that the units are expected to be delivered by the end of 2018.
CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co is a supplier of trains for Malaysia’s Light Rail Transit and ETS (Electric Train Service) networks.
Meanwhile, Liow said Hunan Broadcasting System had expressed interest in producing its popular variety show Happy Camp and reality TV programme Where Are We Going, Dad? in Malaysia.
“This could attract more Chinese tourists to Malaysia,” he said.
Malaysia aims to attract three million Chinese tourists this year and increase the number to eight million in 2020, he added.
Chinese ambassador Huang Huikang also attended the launch of the Malaysia-China Cultural and Arts Year.