KUALA LUMPUR: There is no need to review the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project because the government has already done so, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke following the suggestion by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“We have re-looked and reviewed ECRL. As we have said, the costs have been cut down and the commitment (by the government) is there.
“The agreement was signed, and I think the approach now is how to maximise ECRL to benefit all the states involved.”
Loke was speaking to reporters during a press conference after officiating the World Maritime Day at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Tuesday (Sept 10).
Last Thursday (Sept 5), Anwar said a review of the ECRL project was necessary after a witness in the 1MDB trial of former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak told the court that the project was mooted by the Barisan Nasional administration to bail out 1MDB.
The testimony was given at the High Court by Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, ex-special officer to Najib, on Wednesday (Sept 4).
Besides the ECRL project, Amhari said the Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP) and the Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP), both of which had been terminated, were also proposed to save 1MDB.
The ECRL project was suspended last year by the Pakatan government because of its high cost.
On April 12, MRL and China Communications Constructions Company Ltd (CCCC) signed a Supplementary Agreement (SA), which paved the way for the resumption of the mega-project.
Under the new agreement, constructions of Phases 1 and 2 of the ECRL would be resumed at a cost of RM44bil, a reduction of RM21.5bil from the original projection of RM65.5bil.
The new alignment of the ECRL covers 648km over Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Putrajaya, compared with only four states under the old alignment.