TUMPAT, Malaysia The cancellation of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project will not affect the economic activity and job opportunity in the three east coast states involved in the project.
Instead, Rural Development Minister Rina Harun said many job opportunities could still be created without the ECRL project.
Of course the ECRL project would create so many job opportunities, but there are so many other ways to to do so, we don’t need to depend solely on the project, she told reporters at the community feast with Srikandi Bersatu in Kampung Geting here yesterday.
Also present were Kelantan Bersatu Liaison Committee chairman Kamaruddin Md Nor.
The government had announced the cancellation of the project after finding it to be too costly. The 688-km ECRL route would link the Port Klang in Selangor to the East Coast through Kuantan, Pahang, Terengganu and Pengkalan Kubor, Kelantan.
In KUALA LUMPUR, former Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak called for the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to look into the cancellation of the ECRL and two Trans Sabah Gas Pipeline projects to determine if there was any wrongdoing involved.
He said the people deserved to know if the decision was made based on a reasonable and solid excuse and not because of resentment towards the previous Barisan Nasional administration or the Chinese government for now bowing to the Pakatan Harapan-led government’s demands.
Until all those documents are disclosed, I am disappointed and sad for the people in the east coast states of the peninsula for losing the potential development in their states and the opportunity to improve their economic status to be at par with the people in the west coast, he said in his Facebook post.
The contracts concerned had exit clauses.
It was not like the IPP (independent power producer) concession agreements or the toll agreement signed during Mahathir’s (Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) era where, until now, the Pakatan Harapan government cannot fulfill its promise to abolish tolls, he added.
In KUANTAN, Pahang state Menteri Besar (Chief Minister), Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail called on the government to reconsider the cancellation of the projects as it could cause many local workers to lose their jobs.
In addition, he said the cancellation would only cause the three states to suffer losses as the initial work of implementation had already begun.
In Pahang alone, the initial work is 13 to 14 per cent progressing. In fact, in several sites, such as in Genting Highlands and Bentong, the digging of the ECRL tunnel has also begun.
So, on behalf of the state government and those affected by the cancellation of the project, especially the workers who might lose their jobs, I call on the federal government to reconsider the decision, he said in a statement here yesterday.
Source: NAM News Network