Compiled by C. ARUNO, DIYANA PFORDTEN and R. ARAVINTHAN
THE Cabinet has decided that the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) will now pass through Bentong as per the original plan made by the Barisan Nasional administration, Sin Chew Daily reported.
In an exclusive report, the daily obtained confirmation from several ministers on the matter.
“Yes, plans for the ECRL were discussed during the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, ” one of the ministers said.
According to a source, the present administration prefers the original plans made by the Barisan-led government instead of the amendments made by Pakatan Harapan.
The 688km railway line was originally supposed to pass through Temerloh and Bentong before heading towards Port Klang, with a cost of RM65.5bil.
However, in a bid to reduce the cost to just RM44bil, Pakatan reduced it by 32.8% and changed the plans to instead pass through Nilai and Putrajaya before reaching Port Klang.
“Investments (in infrastructure) have been made in Bentong, including the digging of tunnels. Despite this, the Pakatan Harapan government cancelled this stretch (which was supposed to have passed through Bentong), ” the source said.
According to the source, costs are expected to rise but they are still discussing the matter with the China Communications Construction Company which has been contracted to work on the railway line.
> The daily also reported that the new building housing Dong Zong and Jiao Zong, which is known as the Chinese Education Integrated Building, is expected to start construction in March next year.
Taking up 200,000sq m, the new building will be situated adjacent to Dong Zong and Jiao Zong’s headquarters in Kajang.
According to Dong Zong president Tan Tai Kim, the building will cost RM30mil but they have only raised around RM20mil so far.
He added that fundraising activities this year have been disrupted by the pandemic and that they will be organising a second round to obtain the remaining funds required.
Both Jiao Zong (United Chinese School Teachers’ Association) and Dong Zong (United Chinese School Committees’ Association) are collectively known as Dong Jiao Zong.
Dong Zong looks after the 63 Independent Chinese Schools in Malaysia and determines the syllabus for the Unified Examination Certificate examinations.The above articles are compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with a >, it denotes a separate news item.