PETALING JAYA: The decision to cancel the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project will be bad for future relations with China as it involves the Belt and Road Initiative, said MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
The benefit of the ECRL project, he said, should not be simply measured from the revenues to be collected by the government.
“If we only measure from its direct benefit alone, it is also not beneficial to build highways without tolls such as the Pan Borneo Highway or the Central Spine Road highway.
“(From the project), job opportunities and economic benefits are created, various industries will be spurred and the cost of land in the surrounding area of the stations will rise.
“Both the federal and the state governments will also benefit from the revenues collected from companies created due to the improvement in economy and other developments,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Dr Wee said 20% of the ECRL project had been completed and with the cancellation, many stood to lose from it.
“Those living in the East Coast would be deprived of the benefits of development and would continue to be sidelined,” he said.
With the cancellation of the project and without the collection of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and coupled with no economic growth, the country, said Dr Wee, was facing the cost of having to pay billions of ringgit in compensation.
“Are the cancellations of these projects more important compared to the proposed third national car project?” he said, urging the government to be transparent.