KUALA LUMPUR: Top brass in charge of billion-ringgit rail projects, including the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) and East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) projects, were called in for a briefing by the Team of Eminent Persons.
The chief executive officer of MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd Datuk Mohd Nur Ismail Mohamed Kamal, and Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) CEO Datuk Seri Darwis Abdul Razak were summoned to explain their respective projects.
After the meeting, an MRL spokesperson said that as of now, it was business as usual for the ECRL project and that further details on the matter would be made by the team.
“There is no stop order for the ECRL project, it is business as usual,” MRL head of corporate communications Rosmah Mahmud told reporters after the meeting here yesterday.
“We have briefed the team on the status of the project. I understand that they are fully aware of the status of the ECRL project and I believe they will make a statement soon,” she said.
Meanwhile, Nur Ismail of MyHSR declined to comment on the outcome of the briefing.
The RM55bil ECRL project is managed by MRL, a special-purpose vehicle wholly-owned by the Minister of Finance Inc (MoF Inc). It is the second-largest infrastructure work that the previous government had committed to after the MRT 1 and 2 at a combined RM70bil.
It is learnt that about RM10bil has been drawn down for the project to pay for the feasibility study and set up base camps along the 688-m railway project from Gombak to Kuantan and on to Kota Baru.
The project is led mainly by contractors from China and is broken into eight main packages. Progress on the project is reportedly at 14%.
Meanwhile, the HSR project, which will link Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, is expected to cost RM60bil.
Interestingly, two days before the Dewan Rakyat was dissolved in April to pave way for the 14th General Election, MyHSR Corp announced the appointment of two project delivery partners for the HSR project to oversee the civil works.
According to CIMB Research, the combined value of the civil works in the HSR is estimated at RM30bil to RM40bil.
They are the joint ventures (JVs) of Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd and Gamuda Bhd, and YTL Corp’s Syarikat Pembenaan Yeoh Tiong Lay Sdn Bhd and TH Properties Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Lembaga Tabung Haji.
Observers were not expecting a major development to take place before the elections, considering that the HSR project is the most prestigious development that will involve two countries over the next seven years.
Aside from mega-project briefings, other issues discussed included the fuel subsidy by MoF, Bank Negara and the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry and development expenditures by the Economic Planning Unit.
Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah was also at the briefing in relation to 1Malaysia Development Bhd in his capacity as chairman.
The Team of Eminent Persons, which was established last Saturday, has been conducting meetings and briefings to assist the new government in fulfilling its first 100-day promises.