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The Can-Do Spirit of Malaysia.

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Photos by: Kazuo Lim Khee Boon

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Malaysia is a country of some 20 million people in Southeast Asia. In the last seven years, they have built an extensive monorail system around their capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The website of the KL Monorail sums up its attributes:

"The RM1.18 billion KL Monorail privatisation project is an inner-city public transit system that serves the central business, hotel and shopping district of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia .

The 8.6km long, dual guideway, straddle-beam elevated monorail system will begin from the Pekeliling Bus Terminal in the north, and pass through Kuala Lumpur 's 'Golden Triangle' before reaching KL Sentral in Brickfields.

Fully elevated with 11 stations, the KL Monorail is projected to carry some 85,000 passengers per day. The system uses 12 units of 2-car trains, each capable of handling up to 18,000 passengers per hour per direction if operating at 2 minutes headway between trains.

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Work on the project was interrupted by the economic crisis in 1998. Construction resumed in July 1999 and works on stations and tracks are already completed.
KL Monorail has started operation on 31 August 2003 . "

Malaysia is smaller, poorer and far less financially well off than the 38 million residents of the State of California. But then again the Malays have money to spend because they aren't wasting 2 billion dollars a week fighting a useless and destructive war in Iraq.