MCA: ECRL cancellation will affect ties with China

Wee Ka Siong says country stands to lose more than just revenue as these development projects could create job opportunities and spur various industries.

PETALING JAYA: MCA today warned that Putrajaya’s decision to cancel three Chinese-linked projects, including the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), would not augur well for Malaysia’s relationship with Beijing.

The party’s deputy president, Wee Ka Siong, said this was because these projects were part of China’s One Belt One Road initiative, which has seen Beijing undertake up to US$926 billion worth of projects along strategic land and sea routes, spanning over 15,000km.

Apart from the ECRL, the other two projects were the Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP) and Trans Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP).

Wee, who is a former minister in the previous administration, also said the country stands to lose more than just revenue as these projects could create jobs and spur various industries.

“Now, there will be no economic growth, no job opportunities created, and no economic spillover.

“Those living in the east coast will be deprived of development and will continue to be sidelined compared with their counterparts in the west coast,” the Ayer Hitam MP said in a statement.

Earlier, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said the ECRL and TSGP projects would be cancelled until Malaysia could afford them.

He also said no more project deals, considered detrimental to Malaysia’s interests, would be allowed.

Wee went on to say that the nation, which is losing revenue from the abolition of the goods and services tax (GST), will now have to pay billions of ringgit in compensation.

“Are the cancellation of these projects more important compared with the proposed third national car project?” he asked, referring to Mahathir’s proposal to create another national car.