PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng says that he is unaware of claims that substantial acreage of land was "given" to China under the renegotiated East Coast Railway Link (ECRL) deal.
He said that any alleged deal of such nature would have to go through the Cabinet.
"So far, I think we have not been informed additional land has been given for free," he said when asked on Tuesday (April 23).
Blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin had alleged that while Malaysia got a RM21.5 billion (S$7.1 billion) reduction in the ECRL project from the original deal, China would get 10 times more than that in land and development rights.
Raja Petra claimed he had sighted a memorandum of understanding between Malaysian Investment Development Authority and China Communications Construction Company Ltd on "Enhancing Cooperation in the Development of Industrial Parks, Infrastructure, Logistics Hub and Transit-Oriented Developments".
The MOU is in pursuant to the ECRL project.
On April 12, Malaysia Rail Link and China Communications Construction Company signed a supplementary agreement to pave the way for the resumption of the suspended ECRL project.
Mr Lim said that for transit-oriented development (TOD), which is a standard development tool for all infrastructure projects, land is not given for free.
He pointed out that land was given under TOD for the construction of both MRT and LRT - but not for free.
Earlier, the minister witnessed the signing of an agreement for industrial collaboration programme between the government and Bombardier Hartasuma Constortium for midlife refurbishment for the Kelana Jaya Line.