PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has denied that the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project was based on scheduled payments, as claimed by the Pakatan Harapan Government.
"I understand that the payments for the ECRL project are based on the level of construction achieved and not on timeline as claimed by Pakatan.
"However, this has not stopped Pakatan from using incorrect information as a reason to scrap this beneficial project to the rakyat," he said in a statement on his Facebook page on Friday (June 8).
Najib lamented that Pakatan wanted to cancel or postponed the ECRL project, although phase one from Gombak to Kota Baru has been 20% completed.
He said its cancellation would result in losses amounting to RM22bil.
Previously, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that the Government was looking to renegotiate or cancel the ECRL project as the deal was deemed to be too costly for the country, adding that it also included unfavourable conditions such as scheduled payments.
According to Najib, the three states that will benefit the most from the project are all Opposition: Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.
He added that the cancellation of the project was an act of "punishment" by Dr Mahathir.
Najib said he did not mind if the Pakatan Government wanted to erase his legacies that he had left behind during his nine-year tenure as prime minister.
However, he urged the current Government to be transparent and considerate when thinking about cancelling various projects or initiatives that were started for the benefit of the people and the country.
He cited projects such as the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) and the MRT3 that have been scrapped by the Government.
He added that projects such as the Exchange 106 at the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), Pan Borneo Highway and the Central Spine Road, among others, were spared, as it was in its last stages of construction.
Najib added that when he was prime minister, he ensured that all states, including those governed by the Opposition, received basic infrastructure development for the benefit of the people.
This includes the development of the water supply structure in Penang, Selangor and Kelantan.
"I urged the Government to reveal and allow the access to the economic impact and feasibilities studies report for projects that benefit the people," he said.
Najib said the projects should not be cancelled, based on wrong motives or misleading information on the nation's debt.He called on the Government to take into consideration the positive economic developments and job opportunities that will be lost by scrapping these projects.
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