SEREMBAN: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng tonight alluded that negotiations for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) are going well and the project would most likely be continued, with Negeri Sembilan also benefitting from it.
At the Rantau by-election campaign today, Lim said the negotiations to reduce the price of the 668km rail project are ongoing, He did not elaborate.
“If we can continue this project (ECRL) and the cost can be reduced by RM10 billion, as Daim (Zainuddin) announced, then this will be good news not just for the country but also for Negeri Sembilan.
“I mentioned Negeri Sembilan because if this project carries on, its tracks will change and I want to say here that this will be good for Negeri Sembilan.
“So, please support Pakatan Harapan,” he said at a ceramah in Kampung Sawah here.
Asked to elaborate on how the ECRL will benefit Negeri Sembilan since the rail route does not pass through the state, the DAP secretary-general put a finger to his mouth and walked away from reporters.
Aimed at closing the distance between the east and the west coast, the project, which started in August 2017, was estimated to cost RM55 billion and would have been completed in 2024.
It was estimated that 15% of the project, which spans four states, had been completed when it was suspended after the May 9 general election last year.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government would be saddled with a RM130 billion debt if the ECRL project was implemented on its current terms and conditions.
Last month, Council of Eminent Persons chairman Daim Zainuddin was named to lead the negotiations with China on reducing the cost of the ECRL.
Earlier, Lim said Malaysia had been “robbed” of RM100 billion by 1MDB-linked companies in the past and this had hampered efforts to revive the economy.
He said the government is on a mission to “save” other institutions, like Tabung Haji and Felda.
He called on the public to wipe out corruption by not taking bribes or stealing money.
“It may make life easy for you for one day, one week or one month, but in the end, if you get caught stealing big sums of money, you will go to prison.”
He added that the government has no money because it was “robbed” by a certain leader.
The Bagan MP also spoke on the luxury yacht Equanimity, which was recently sold by the government for US$126 million. “That’s proof that 1MDB truly happened”.