Source: Decision to terminate ECRL made much earlier, not yesterday (Jan 24)

  • Nation
  • Friday, 25 Jan 2019

PETALING JAYA: The Cabinet had decided to terminate the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project and the compensation will be arbitrated, a top source in the Works Ministry confirmed.

The source said the decision to scrap the project was actually made much earlier, and not on Thursday (Jan 24).

"Yes, the decision to terminate is correct and apparently this was made earlier, I can't recall exactly when. Yesterday, the Cabinet had (only) a sort of briefing on the matter from the Finance Ministry.

"The compensation will be arbitrated," said the source, not stating who will be handling the arbitration process.

On Thursday (Jan 24), Sin Chew quoted a Cabinet source as saying that this had been determined during Wednesday's (Jan 23) Cabinet meeting.

According to the report, the Cabinet did not discuss the issue of compensation with the contractor, China Communications and Construction Company (CCCC), the source said.

It is understood that the government is still in discussion with CCCC on the compensation amount.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had reportedly denied knowledge of the termination.

The report came a day after Singapore's The Straits Times reported that Malaysia was seeking a new contractor to build the ECRL, after terminating the original contract awarded to CCCC on Tuesday (Jan 22).

The report said Putrajaya was seeking to halve the estimated project cost of RM81bil to RM40bil.

In response, Gerakan vice-president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau Hoe Chai said Putrajaya owed an explanation to the people of Pahang, Terengganu, and Kelantan for cancelling the project.

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