There’s always uncertainty when there’s a change of government, as projects approved under the previous administration might be reviewed, delayed or scrapped. We’ve already seen a couple of examples of this with the previous few governments, and one such mega project is the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL).
Fortunately, the ongoing project will not be amended by the new government. This was revealed by freshly minted transport minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook today.
“The government’s approach is that for any projects that are already in progress, we will continue with them. For projects that are already started, we have no issues to continue with them in general. We have not go into the details yet, but for the ministry of transport, for one major project — the ECRL — there will be continuity,” he told reporters after clocking in at the MoT, reported by The Edge.
“I have mentioned, even during the [election] campaign, that in the event we come back to the government, this project will be continued, because we know that it has gone through many rounds of negotiations. There were changes in terms of the routing. We do not want to make any amendments at this point in time, because the construction has begun. The project is progressing well,” the Seremban MP added.
That’s a rational move, given that the ECRL has had many twists and turns, both literally and figuratively. “Yes, sometimes we might not agree with certain decisions, but since it has been reviewed twice — during our time and after that by the previous government — and restarted, I think we will leave it at that,” the returning MoT minister said.
Back in June, it was revealed that the ECRL project has reached the 30% completion mark and will be on track to reach the target of 37% by the end of 2022.
A 50:50 joint venture between Malaysia Rail Link and China Communications Construction (CCCC), the 665 km ECRL connecting Kota Bharu to Port Klang will have 59 tunnels and will cost RM50.27 billion. The line is expected to be fully completed by December 2026, with operations expected to start in January 2027.
The ECRL has shifted shape along with the government in charge over the last few years – here’s a recap of the twist and turns.
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