PETALING JAYA: Several U-turns on the decision to cancel or to continue the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project has affected the image and dignity of the country, said MCA Youth chief Datuk Chong Sin Woon.
"Pakatan Harapan Government should be criticised as it always does U-turns on government policies. The Government has repeatedly changed its stance against projects involving foreign countries in a short time.
"This has confused quarters which are related to these projects which in turn affecting the foreign investors' confidence on our country," he said in a statement Sunday (Aug 26).
He referred to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's announcement on the last day of his official visit to China, that the ECRL project will be cancelled.
But just a day later, back on Malaysian soil, Dr Mahathir clarified that studies are being conducted on the project to decide whether to defer it.
"This seems to be very common for Dr Mahathir who only follows his own way," Chong said.
Chong, who is a senator, said Pakatan was not able to reach a consensus on the ECRL and High-Speed Rail projects.
"On June 23, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the ECRL project will be continued after negotiation as more than RM20bil has been paid. Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir wanted the project to be cancelled, citing the high level of national debt as the reason. Who is telling the truth?" he questioned.
Chong said such uncertainties have created confusion among other countries. "Should they take into account the Prime Minister's views today? Or yesterday? Such decisions cannot be taken lightly as it involves various issues including compensation and other recovery works," he noted.
"As prime minister, Dr Mahathir should not simply make decisions. Has the issue been discussed in the Cabinet? Are there any in-depth studies conducted? Is the decision made based on consensus?" he asked, adding that the cancellation of the mega projects will have a huge impact on the country.
Chong also said it could affect the bilateral relations between these countries and Malaysia.