Kra Canal is dead says Thai Ambassador to Kuala Lumpur

Source: Thai-Chinese culture Association

The Thailand Ambassador to Kuala Lumpur Damrong Kraikruan said in no uncertain terms: The Kra Canal is gone. “It is not a viable project,” he said a group of journalist from Malaysian news agencies at his residence in Kuala Lumpur.

When asked where is the much talked about Kra Canal project heading, he simply said it was not economically viable. He said the area did not have deep sea port capabilities, and it could not get the banking and finance support like Singapore.

According to a story to be published in Malay Mail – a local news daily in Klang Valley –  tomorrow, the Ambassador said: “Seagoing vessels are getting bigger and wider…if they build Kra it has to be at least 20km across.”

Nikkei Asian Review last month sparked more speculation on the progress in the Kra canal saying it was part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and it with Chinese influence the project may kick-start with a $28bn tag.

The seaway, Nikkei said in August, the plan the generals and businessmen had in mind is one of the most ambitious and transformational infrastructure megaprojects ever contemplated in Asia.

It said the construction of the 135km shipping canal across Thailand’s narrow Isthmus of Kra to link the Pacific and Indian oceans had the purpose of bypassing the narrow, traffic-choked, piracy-prone and strategically sensitive Malacca Strait, the world’s busiest trade route, which links China, Japan and other East Asian nations with the oil fields of the Middle East and major markets in Europe, Africa and India.

More to come.


  1. When a Frenchman suggested Suez Canal in 1850+, pple said it was impossible. But they did it with 1.5m laborers agst then-superpower British Empire’s sabotage.
    Fast-forward 170yrs to now, it is entirely possible with modern day eqpt to do Kras Canal.
    The day PRC starts on that, it is literally the day PRC declares war agst SG.

  2. If the Straits of Malacca is narrow, a canal across the Kra would be even narrower. What with the queuing and waiting for the water in the locks to be filled and drained, the saving in time would be much reduced. Also the saving in time would be offset by the longer time it takes for goods meant for or from Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia. If it ever were to built, it would be that China felt its security being threatened, not for economic reasons.

  3. Suez was relatively smooth sailing to construct coz it was cutting across empty desert land. Then, Suez Canal saved sail boats a few months sailing around a continent.
    For Kra there’s much opposition by the locals coz it meant razing tru n destroying villages, towns n infrastructures.
    Besides, it only saves today’s powerful n bigger ships just a couple of days sailing around a peninsula which doesn’t make it viable.

  4. The Ministers, scholars and civil servants better not rest on your laurel. Something sooner or later will hit Singapore areas of competence. Didn’t the British invent railroad ? Better start thinking hard on how to create jobs for Singaporeans ! If you don’t know, just like HSK says try everything, then empathise with the people. Teach the civil service to listen more before saying No. The people grew up with LKY, not this so call 4G leaders – so far not sure what their accomplishments are. LKY gave us the MRT, now what happen. LKY gave us Changi Airport, they simply add the terminal. LKY gave us the port, they simply shift to Tuas. The point is : what audacious thing 4G leaders will bring to Singaporeans to ensure their progress and prosperity, just like LKY led us to.

  5. If the time saved is in weeks, or thousands of miles worth of fuel savings, it might be feasible.

    If from the point of security, a canal is easier to block/choke compare to straits.

    Dun forget the separatist movement in Southern Thai. Building the canal weaken Thai govt control over the southern side of the canal.

    And, who is going to pay for the canal. If the Thai charge a fee to use the canal, companies may just move south and spend 2-3 extra days without paying it