Negotiations on ECRL ongoing, but not easy to resolve, says Dr M

SERI KEMBANGAN: Negotiations on the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project are still ongoing, but it won't be easy to resolve the issue, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Prime Minister said the government will continue to negotiate until success was achieved.

"ECRL is going to continue. It's not an easy thing to negotiate but we will continue until we succeed," he told reporters after launching the World Chinese Economic Forum here on Friday (Nov 9).

Dr Mahathir was asked to comment on the statement by Tun Daim Zainuddin, the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) chairman, that talks on ECRL were still going on with China.

The ECRL project was scrapped recently as it was deemed overpriced and not economically feasible.

On the low-interest Samurai bonds offered by Japan, Dr Mahathir was asked if national projects will be offered in exchange for them.

He replied that the bonds come with "no strings attached".

"The Yen credit can be used to repay loans or to spend on projects," he said.

On a separate matter, Dr Mahathir said Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia welcomes Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz's plans to join the party.

"She has been working with us for a long time.

"I don't know about posts, but she will be a member," Dr Mahathir said in response to a question whether the Rafidah, who is dubbed the "Iron Lady", will be offered any positions in the party.