by | Mohd Nurul Azammi & I.M. Nasir
Future Rail 2030: The Malaysian Rail Industry Roadmap is a joint initiative between the Malaysian Foresight Institute (MFI), an organisation under Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), and Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to chart the way forward for the rail industry development in Malaysia until 2030.
The initiative is timely for Malaysia as there is an increasing concern globally on megatrends such as climate change, urbanization and population growth, congestion, oil scarcity and hike of energy price, to name a few. The debates on these trends have created a strong feeling that rail is going to be an important mode of transport in the future.
SHAPING THE FUTURE OF MALAYSIAN RAIL INDUSTRY
The rail industry in Malaysia is currently small in terms of rail track networks and number of related organisations although its operation started way back in 1885. Lack of a clear policy, vision and direction of its development has been one of the major factors contributing to the current state of the industry. The Government of Malaysia has invested more than RM50 billion in rail related equipment since 1990s and the number will continue to grow until 2020 through committed investments under Greater Kuala Lumpur initiative of economic Transformation Programme (ETP). Therefore, local rail support industry must leverage on upcoming investments to strengthen required capabilities for future sustainability. “A journey of a thousand mile begins with a single step” (Lao Tzu); nevertheless, there is a need to pull and consolidate all fragmented hopes and wills of stakeholders to revitalise the rail industry in Malaysia.