East Coast Rail Link cancellation will not affect job opportunities: Malaysia minister

A construction site of the East Coast Rail Link in Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia.
A construction site of the East Coast Rail Link in Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) - 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, said Rural Development Minister Rina Harun.

Instead, many job opportunities could still be created without the ECRL project, she said.

"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 on Thursday (Aug 23).

The Malaysian 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.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Najib 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.