Catastrophic for Malaysia if transportation projects cancelled

13-Apr-2018 Intellasia | New Straits Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Tens of thousands of Malaysians will lose their jobs if transportation projects which had been planned were cancelled, prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said. He said cancellation of the projects would also result in investors to flee, while Malaysia would gain reputation as a country that did not keep its words. “The people of the East Coast states would rightly feel betrayed. Are they to be left behind by a former leader once again, just as he left them behind before? “lf they wish to abandon these projects, why not abandon the Pan Borneo Highway as well? After all, the nonagenarian was known for leaving Sabah and Sarawak behind. “This government however, will never leave any Malaysian behind. We wantand we are buildingbetter infrastructure for all Malaysians, wherever they are in our great and beautiful country,” he said in a speech at the National Supply Chain Conference on Rail Projects and Career Fair 2018, organised by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority, here today.

The text of his speech was read by Second International Trade and Industry minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan. Addressing the fear-mongering and lies that certain opposition politicians have been spreading about the transport projects, Najib said investments in railways and public transport under the current government was the biggest that Malaysia had ever seen. He said Infra Rakyat, which was crucial for the country’s economic growth and a sustainable future, had been overlooked by a former leader who had unrealistic dreams and lacked commercial understanding. “He wasted billions while completely neglecting public transport. The result was that Malaysia fell behind. “We were clear that we had not only to catch up but we had to get ahead of the competition and have a public transport system that is truly world class. “So this was the priority of my government right from the start,” he said. Najib said the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project, which he announced on June 10, 2010 is expected to create 130,000 employment opportunities. As for the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, which will provide seamless travel between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, Najib said it would provide about 22,000 jobs for professionals and skilled workers, of which 4,500 jobs were HSR-specific. In the long term, said Najib, the estimated impact of the HSR over a 50 year period was expected to be an extra RM650 billion in Gross National Income and a massive 442,000 new jobs. This, he said took into account the unique economic profile and local strengths of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and leveraging the synergies along the railway corridor. Najib said the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project between Port Klang and Tumpat, Kelantan, will create over 80,000 job opportunities and the economies of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan were projected to grow by an additional 1.5 per cent per year for the next 50 years. Najib added the Malaysia Rail Link, the ECRL’s owner, had just announced that 70 per cent of the workforce involved in the project will be locals. He said this proved allegations that the project would not benefit Malaysians were baseless and aimed at scaring the people.


Category: Malaysia

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