With ECRL axed, Putrajaya to improve rail lines to east coast

The government has decided to cancel the ECRL project for now, citing the high cost involved. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Transport Minister Anthony Loke today gave an assurance that the existing rail lines in the east coast will be improved, following the cancellation of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, Bernama reported.

“Although the ECRL is now cancelled, we give an assurance that the people in the east coast will not be neglected and they will get a more effective transport network,” he was quoted as saying after a function in Seremban.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had yesterday said the ECRL would be cancelled until Malaysia could afford it.

The 600km rail link, which was to connect Port Klang in Selangor to Kuantan, Pahang, and Pengkalan Kubor, Kelantan, would have cost more than RM55 billion.

On a separate matter, Loke said commercial airlines had been asked to notify their passengers on any change of flight schedule at the earliest possible time following the closure of the airspace above and around the KL International Airport (KLIA) and klia2 to enable rehearsals for the Merdeka Day airshow.

He said this was to enable the passengers to plan their journey.

“I hope all airlines will notify their passengers about this and reschedule their flights.”

On the Automated Enforcement System (AES), Loke said the ministry had identified a new method in operating it and that it would be announced soon.

“I will convene a meeting with the Road Transport Department first before finalising it,” he said.

Prior to this, Loke had announced that the concession contracts for the two companies operating the AES would expire at the end of this month and that the government would not renew their contracts as the Road Transport Department would take over full AES operations from Sept 1.