Malaysia to make official announcement on East Coast Rail Link next week: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng

Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Cabinet would be making an official announcement regarding the East Coast Rail Link next week.
Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Cabinet would be making an official announcement regarding the East Coast Rail Link next week.PHOTO: ST FILE

KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysian Cabinet will make an official announcement next week on the China-backed East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng was cited by state news agency Bernama as saying on Sunday (Jan 27).

His comments came days after The Straits Times reported that Malaysia had terminated the contract with China Communication Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) to build the RM81 billion (S$27 billion) link.

Malaysia’s economics minister Azmin Ali confirmed the project's cancellation on Saturday, citing the cost of the project.

On Sunday, Mr Lim said that since the ECRL is a massive project, it is only proper that the announcement be made via a written statement, Bernama reported.

"The content of the project will be announced next week and I hope the press will not make a mountain out of a molehill... please wait for the official statement," he told reporters in Seberang Jaya, Penang.

He added that the Chinese embassy in Malaysia had been informed of the date of the official announcement.

ST reported last week that Malaysia was seeking a new contractor to lead the ECRL project after terminating the contract with the Chinese.

It said the government wanted to halve the estimated project cost of RM81 billion to RM40 billion.

Work on the 688km railway line linking the east and west coasts of Peninsular Malaysia has been suspended since last July, as part of the new Pakatan Harapan administration's review of large-scale infrastructure projects after the coalition won the elections in May.