SINGAPORE (June 11): In the bad old days, when Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines dominated flights between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, a return plane ticket between the two cities could cost some $400. For a flight that takes less than an hour, it felt like a rip-off. So, I would often take a bus, which was less salubrious but a lot cheaper and offered a variety of conveniently located pick-up and drop-off points. And, if I ever stumped up the money for a flight, I would do everything I could to ensure that I boarded a dual-aisle plane operated by SIA rather than a single-aisle plane belonging to MAS, because it felt as if I was getting better value for what I was paying. Through it all, I longed for a frequent and comfortable highspeed train.

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