Lim: India and China may hit back


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 12 Nov 2003

By LEONG SHEN-LI

PETALING JAYA: The Primary Industries Ministry is concerned with the possibility of retaliation resulting from the Indian Railway Construction Company (Ircon) and China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) not being awarded the RM14.5bil railway double-tracking project. 

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik said the possibility of retaliation from India and China was very real. 

“After having negotiated for three years, they have been unceremoniously told that their letters of intent have been cancelled. Who will not be angry?” he told reporters after opening the Eye Laser Correction Centre in Kelana Jaya here yesterday. 

He was commenting on recent reports that India was threatening to boycott Malaysian palm oil as one of several retaliatory moves following the Government’s decision to award the project to Malaysia Mining Corporation (MMC) and Gamuda Bhd instead of Ircon and CREC. 

Ircon and CREC together with several local companies were earlier earmarked as the main contractors for the project and issued letters of intent. 

Dr Lim said the retaliatory moves might not be direct, but could come in the form of making it difficult for Malaysia to export its palm oil to the two countries. 

He had also learnt that his counterpart from a neighbouring country had gone to India and would be visiting China, he said, adding that there were others who would jump at the chance to replace Malaysia when it came to selling palm oil. 

On the call by cooking oil manufacturers for the ceiling price of the commodity to be raised following a surge in crude palm oil prices, Dr Lim said he would let the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry handle the issue first. 

He added that one of the solutions was to ask palm oil producers to subsidise cooking oil manufacturers.  

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