Delayed Rail Project Stifles Joint Malaysia-Singapore 2032 Olympic Bid

Malaysian officials have declared a previously proposed Malaysia and Singapore joint 2032 Olympic Games bid ended, according to a Friday report in Kuala Lumpur based The Star.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia hosted an IOC Session in 2015 (GamesBids Photo)

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia hosted an IOC Session in 2015 (GamesBids Photo)

Due to the suspension of a planned High Speed Rail project that was to link the two countries, shaving hours of the travel times between them, Olympic Council of Malaysia honorary life president and International Olympic Committee Member Tunku Imran said plans had to be cancelled.

“I mooted that Kuala Lumpur and Singapore make a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympics,” Imran said.

“I said this because it made sense at the time, as this was all based on the High Speed Rail,” he said during a speech to the International Sports Law Conference.

“As joint host, the cities could split the events by hosting 14 of them in Singapore and 14 in Kuala Lumpur,” Imran said, suggesting 90 minutes travel time by rail and 4 hours by car would have been saved had the infrastructure been in place.

The joint project has been an on-again-off-again plan that was previously nixed by Singapore last year when officials there felt the demands of the event would be too big for the small nation to handle.

The high speed rail line first proposed in 2016 is to cost an estimated RM100 billion (USD $26 billion), but has been temporarily suspended for two years, according to The Star, by the new recently-elected government.

The planned delay will push the operation date to January 1, 2031 instead of in the original estimated opening of December 2026.

The new date leaves little wiggle room ahead of a 2032 Games should further delays occur.

There has been no indication if a joint bid for the 2036 edition of the Games could take place instead.

Singapore Puts Brakes On Joint Olympic Bid With Malaysia

The next three Summer Games have been awarded to Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.

Indonesian officials earlier in the month announced that they’ll begin to prepare Jakarta for a 2032 bid after a successful Asian Games this year.

Shanghai’s deputy director Luo Wenhua announced that the Chinese city could consider a 2032 bid while it sets a course to become a “globally famous” sport city.

Other interest in bidding for the 2032 Games has come from Queensland in Australia, India, Germany, Russia and Egypt.  The IOC indicated earlier this year that it has had discussions with at least one interested city and that the “discussion phase” of the cycle has begun.

The IOC is scheduled to elect the 2032 host city in 2025.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil