PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will be "impoverished" if the government proceeds with the East Coast Railway Link project, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Prime Minister, while not confirming that the project has been scrapped, said paying compensation is cheaper than bearing the cost of the project.
"We are burdened with heavy debts. We seek understanding from all parties. We will be impoverished by the project if we go on.
"The huge compensation for cancelling it is not as huge as the amount we have to carry for the next 30 years," he said to reporters after launching the National Anti-Corruption Plan on Tuesday (Jan 29).
Dr Mahathir said the official status of the project will be announced by the Ministry of Finance soon.
It has been reported that the government is looking for a new contractor after terminating the contract awarded to China Comminication Construction Company Ltd to build the RM81bil mega rail project.