PETALING JAYA: Is Malaysia negotiating with China or Taiwan on the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) asks MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
This was in response to an initial press release issued by the Prime Minister's Office on Friday (April 12) to announce that a deal had been inked to revive the project.
It is learnt that the PMO issued the statement to the media before retracting it a few minutes later and reissuing the statement with the corrected phrase – "the People's Republic of China".
"Why is (Special Envoy to the Prime Minister) Tun Daim Zainuddin negotiating with Taiwan authorities on the ECRL?
"The PMO's statement stated 'Republic of China' (ROC), which is Taiwan, while the People's Republic of China (PRC) refers to China itself," said Wee on his Facebook page.
"The CCCC (China Communications Construction Company Ltd ) which got the ECRL contract is a huge company from China, and not Taiwan," he added.
Dr Wee said that the PMO should have realised that the Republic of China and The People's Republic of China are different.
"How could the PMO make such a mistake?" he asked.
ROC was originally known as "China" when it controlled mainland China from its establishment in 1912 to 1949, when it retreated to the island of Taiwan. After the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the ROC controlled only Taiwan and some nearby island groups.
Meanwhile, PRC was established in 1949, controlling mainland China and two special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau.
Earlier Friday, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd and China Communications Construction Company Ltd signed a supplementary agreement that will pave the way for the resumption of the ECRL project.
The signing was achieved after months of negotiations between the companies involved as well as the governments of Malaysia and China, said the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
"We are pleased to announce that the construction cost of Phases 1 and 2 of the ECRL has now been reduced to RM44bil.
"This is a reduction of RM21.5bil from the original cost of RM65.5bil.
"This reduction will surely benefit Malaysia and lighten the burden of the country's financial position," said the PMO in a statement Friday (April 12).
The supplementary agreement covers the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning aspects of the ECRL, it added.