ECRL not canceled yet, all options that are still being studied says Dr M – Nation

PETALING JAYA: (Bernama) It is still being investigated whether China-backed multi-billion ringgit's East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project can be rejected in any other way, Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on August 24.

"At the moment they are studying whether they give or give a reprieve to another (party).

"But we also have to negotiate with them (China), if they agree, (then) we can do it," he said.

The Prime Minister was asked about news reports in which he said during a recent visit to China that the government had decided to provisionally cancel the ECRL project.

"What I said was if we could, we would drop the project, or we would postpone it.

"Or we would find another way to do it without spending so much money," he told the reporters after attending the inaugural council meeting with about 150 Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Pribumi) division chiefs from around the country, here today. Dr. Mahathir is the chairman of the party.

ECRL, the RM81bil project with a length of 688 km between Port Klang and Kota Bharu, was launched last year and planned for completion in 2024.

Another China-supported project, the RM4bil Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) to build a 662 km long gas pipeline from Kimanis to Sandakan and Tawau has been suspended since July.

When asked if he had requested a loan from China during his official visit to the country from 17 to 21 August, Dr. Mahathir replied: "No, no … we borrowed enough from China".

He was also questioned about some reports claiming that Malaysia might not receive the yen loan requested during his visit to Japan in June.

"Who said we do not get the yen loan? I mean, you just do not go to the prime minister and say" give me a loan of a yen "and then he writes a check for me.

"It has to be done right, now our officers are working on the yen loan," he said – Bernama

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