Cancellation of ECRL comes as a shock to employees – Nation

BENTONG: While some employees involved in the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) are in shock because of the demolition of the project as announced by the Prime Minister, some areas still have work to be seen despite the launch of the 688km line for about a year ago.

Several construction workers said they were left in the dark.

"At the moment we do not know what the actual status of the project is.

"We are still waiting for an announcement from top management," an experienced construction worker told us The star on condition of anonymity.

Another construction worker also expressed a similar sentiment, saying that the ECRL project mainly consisted of Malaysian employees.

"Employees from China include 18% to 20% of the staff," he said.

A security officer at the site of the Bentong ECRL project said that the workers' quarters had already been abandoned a month ago.

In July, the Channel NewsAsia in Singapore reported that rainfall had already seen half of the workforce, especially Malaysians.

A source from the Malaysian Rail Link (MRL), the project owner of ECRL, confirmed that the cutback actually took place.

"The China Communications and Constructions Company (CCCC) was fired a month ago when the project was suspended.

"Half of them are already quieter and the Chinese workers were ordered to leave," said the high-ranking source.

Top officials in the MRL would have been shocked by the announcement of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad because it was understood that they were in consultation with the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) and the Ministries of Transport and Finance to come up with various options to restore the construction. to insist costs.

"The MRL has paid more than RM10bil to the main contractor, the China Communications and Constructions Company and there is a RM9bil claim for work done.

"It will therefore be a great waste, because the figure to compensate them is quite high," he said.

The project started on 9 August 2017 and is scheduled for completion in 2024.

In Kuantan, at the site in KotaSAS where the project was launched with a lot of fanfare, all that remains is an empty strip of land.

In addition to the ongoing construction of the new administrative Pahang Center in the neighborhood, it was quiet on the site where former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak performed the groundbreaking ceremony.

A guard on the site said that no real rail construction had been done since the launch.

The guard, who refused to be named, said that there were no employees from China or an ECRL office at the location.

He was surprised when he was told about Dr Mahathir's announcement.

"But yes, here was never railway construction, so there's nothing to stop," he said.

A large sign at the site reported that the KotaSAS Central station would open in 2021.

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