Putrajaya relaunches ECRL, expects bigger China FDI, new industries to sprout across Titiwangsa spine

27-Jul-2019 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Transport minister Anthony Loke relaunched the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project today with economic expectations riding high.

He said the national rail project is a catalyst to spur development in the east coast states and across the Titiwangsa mountain range on the Malaysian peninsula, creating new industrial hubs that will offer plenty of jobs to locals, kick up commerce and boost tourism.

“I am not only confident that the ECRL would spur economic growth in states that it will travel such Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Negri Sembilan and Selangor, but also become the catalyst for economic development in the country,” he said in his speech.

Loke said he expects more foreign investment, especially from China, to pour in along the ECRL corridor as more sections of the line are completed.

“We are not expecting a migration of local companies along the ECRL corridor but instead new investments that will see the construction of new industrial parks along its corridor. This will ensure that there are also a huge number of products being transported along the ECRL,” he said.

Loke also said the East Coast Rail Link Industrial Skills Training Programme will continue to provide opportunities for aspiring youth who wished to work on the national project. Loke said the training programme will benefit up to 5,000 youth compared to 3,600 in the previous ECRL agreement.

Before ending his speech, Loke also thanked Special Envoy to the prime minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin for negotiating a better deal with China on the ECRL.

“I am confident that his wisdom and involvement have made the renegotiations possible and a success to the point we have accomplished to carry out and even relaunch the ECRL,” he said.

The relaunch of the project was held at the Dungun tunnel, which is part of Section B of the ECRL and stretches 223km from Dungun to Mentakab.

The other two sections include the Kota Bharu to Dungun (Section A) and the Mentakab to Klang (Section C).

ECRL was revived following negotiations with China that will see the project resume at a price of RM44 billion, a reduction of RM21.5 billion from its original cost of RM65.5 billion.

In April, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) signed a supplementary agreement to form a 50:50 joint-venture company to manage, operate and maintain the ECRL network.

Also present at the project relaunch were China Ambasador to Malaysia Bai Tian, CCCC vice-president Sun Ziyu, MRL chair Datuk Seri Darwis Abdul Razak, Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar and Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun.



Category: Malaysia

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