ECRL main contractor ‘upset’, hopes suspension will be lifted

Contractor says it is ‘upset and concerned’ about the livelihood of its 2,250 local staff, as well as several hundred sub-contractors, suppliers and consultancy firms.

KUALA LUMPUR: China Communications Construction (ECRL) Sdn Bhd confirmed today it had received a notice to suspend all work on the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) from project owner Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL).

It said in a statement that it was “upset” and regretted that “the suspension comes at this junction, as substantial work has been progressing well”. It hoped both sides would arrive at a win-win situation.

The suspension of work comes in the wake of the revelation by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng yesterday that the final cost of the controversial ECRL project would be RM81 billion and that this needed to be reduced significantly for the project to be financially viable.

MRL had earlier instructed its main contractor, China Communications Construction Ltd (CCCC), to suspend all work under the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contract (EPCC) of the project with immediate effect in the “national interest”.

China Communications Construction (ECRL) Sdn Bhd, which is part of CCCC, said today the contract had been signed by CCCC and MRL legally.

“We hope MRL will honour and respect the contract signed.

“We respect and comply with Malaysian laws.

“Under the situation, we have no choice but to adhere to the suspension instruction.

“While the duration of the suspension has not been specified, we are concerned about incurring additional costs, losses and damages arising from the suspension.”

The company said it was “upset and concerned” about the livelihood of its 2,250 local staff, as well as several hundred sub-contractors, suppliers and consultancy firms.

“We hope that both sides will be able to find a win-win solution through sincere negotiations with goodwill. We also hope the suspension will be lifted as soon as possible for the benefit of all parties.”

The edgemarkets.com reported earlier today that in a letter, dated July 3, MRL chief executive officer Darwis Abd Razak had said that during the period of suspension, the company should “protect, store and secure the works against any deterioration, loss or damage”.

“Additionally, you shall not remove any equipment, materials or any part of the works from the site, without our prior written consent.

“This suspension shall take effect immediately and will be in force until further instructions from us.”

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