Wee lauds continuation of ECRL project as scheduled

PETALING JAYA: The continuation of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project as scheduled will give clarity, predictability and confidence to all stakeholders involved, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).

The former transport minister said he was glad that the current government had given its commitment to proceed with the ECRL project per the decisions made previously.

“This gives clarity, predictability and confidence to all stakeholders involved, including those who would eventually benefit from the service upon completion.

“The project progress is now about 37%.

“We all hope to see its completion on schedule in December 2026 and the operations to begin from early 2027,” he said on Facebook yesterday.

He was commenting on a statement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that the ECRL project would proceed at a reduced overall cost of RM74.96bil in comparison with the original cost of RM85.97bil approved in 2016.

Dr Wee also commended the Selangor government for working with the Federal Government to finalise the Supplementary Agreement 6 (SA6).

He said his joint press conference with Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari on Dec 2, 2021, marked the state’s acceptance to proceed with the northern alignment – now dubbed ECRL 3.0 alignment – after all outstanding issues with the state’s environmental and social concerns were resolved.

“Their acceptance allowed MRL Sdn Bhd and China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) to sign the SA6 on June 2, 2022.

“It is meant to carry on with the last package of the 665km rail project at a cost of RM50.27bil, which includes a land bridge to Port Klang that links the ECRL to Westport and Northport,” he said.

Dr Wee said the RM50.27bil – after all settled issues and negotiations – was the final cost figure for the ECRL project which had been approved by the Transport Ministry, the Finance Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Department’s Economic Planning Unit.

“The cost figure of RM50.27bil was also presented to the then Cabinet and subsequently endorsed by the Cabinet early this year,” he said.

On the project cost for ECRL in 2016, Dr Wee said he had no knowledge about the initial cost quoted by the Prime Minister.

“However, I can certainly confirm that the scope of work involved at that time varied from the existing alignment with a reduction in terms of construction work, even though it was maintained at the same unit rate of cost.

“The number of stations has been reduced, soil improvement work has been omitted in 2019 while it was decided for ECRL to be terminated at Kota Baru instead of Pengkalan Kubor,” he said.

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