Minister: No word from Thailand yet on Kra Canal

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will use the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) bloc to hold talks with Thailand if it decides to go ahead with the Kra Canal project.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Seri S.K. Devamany (pic) said Thailand has no interest in building the canal said to be linked to China’s One Belt One Road and Maritime Silk Route initiatives.

“Thailand has not made any decision and recently said it is not interested in building the canal,” he said wile answering a question by Datuk Seri Dr Irmohizam Ibrahim (BN-Kuala Selangor) in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday.

He said the proposal was never raised or discussed by Thailand within Asean.

However, Malaysia will resort to Asean and other regional economic pacts to hold talks with Thailand if the project does eventually take off.

In September, Thailand’s Ambassador to Kuala Lumpur Damrong Kraikruan said the Kra Canal was not a viable project.

He said the area did not have deep sea port capabilities, and it could not get the banking and finance support.

Interest in the canal was rekindled by a Nikkei Asian Review report months ago, which said that the Chinese may kick-start the RM100bil project.

The proposed 135km shipping canal across Thailand’s narrow Isthmus of Kra would link the Pacific and Indian oceans by bypassing the Straits of Malacca, the world’s busiest maritime trade route.
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