PUTRAJAYA: The much anticipated East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) will not only be a game changer for the economy and landscape of the east coast states, but will also change the people’s mindset on development.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said people were ready to embrace the changes the ECRL would bring to their hometowns.
He shared his recent experience of a visit to Bachok, Kelantan, where the locals were excited to see a model of the train that will be in service once the project is completed.
“From there, I knew this was not just a game changer but something that would help change their mindset,” he said when launching the industrial training programme for the project yesterday.
A recent survey for the project showed a positive response from the people, with over 95% of the respondents in favour of it, he said.
“We believe the ECRL will bring many benefits to the east coast region. It will provide job opportunities ... good and efficient alternative transportation, as well as a positive social impact,” Najib said.
He added that with the ECRL, the east coast states could also expect to see the opening of more business and trading hubs, and industrial areas, as well as a tourism boost.
It would also lead to improvements in education, housing, health and other facilities.
On the training programme, he said 3,600 local talents would undergo training to equip themselves with the skills needed in rail construction, and to know the trains that will operate on the ECRL.
“To ensure that the local people benefit from this, I want the majority of those given the training to be from the east coast states of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.
“I hope they will grab this opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills to land the jobs that the project will bring,” he added.
This is a corporate social responsibility programme by China Communications Construction Company – the turnkey contractor for the ECRL project – and Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Finance Minister Inc.
The ECRL is an electric railway system linking the east coast states to the Greater Klang Valley.
Starting from Wakaf Bahru in Kelantan and ending in Port Klang, the 688km link consists of 23 stations. Passengers will be able to complete the journey in less than four hours.