KUALA TERENGGANU: Six stations of the East Coast Rail Link will be built in Terengganu, the chairman of the Council of Eminent Persons, Daim Zainuddin, said today, which proved that the state is not being bypassed as alleged by some.
He said the people of Terengganu should not be upset by or confused about the decision on a new alignment for the ECRL despite the cost of the project being slashed to RM44 billion from RM65.5 billion previously.
“The plan is that there will be six stations in Terengganu. There will be the passenger, cargo and also passenger-cum-cargo stations. I can’t remember the breakdown figures.
“The ECRL will pass through Terengganu, but won’t go past it (to Mentakab),” said Daim who was in Terengganu for the Darul Iman Talk titled, “Bumiputera Economy: National Agenda’, today.
Based on the proposed new ECRL alignment, the six stations in Terengganu will be Chukai, Kemasik, Dungun, Pengkalan Berangan, Kuala Terengganu and Kampung Raja.
The ECRL project will resume following the signing of a supplementary agreement between Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd and China Communications Construction Company Ltd .
Besides reduced cost, the new alignment has a reduced distance to 648 kilometres from the original 688 kilometres. It runs from Kota Bharu-Mentakab-Jelebu-Kuala Kelawang-Bangi-Kajang-Putrajaya and on to Port Klang
Daim said the supplementary agreement between the two companies would result in increased involvement of local contractors to 40% from 30% before this.
He said the project would also spur the growth of ancillary industries like homestay and retail businesses when ready.
“We will see a lot of involvement of big and small businesses. This opportunity will be a good test for entrepreneurs in Terengganu and elsewhere in the East Coast that they are capable of meeting the demand and competing,” he added.
Daim urged Malay entrepreneurs not to be too dependent on government assistance.
Education, he added, could also help them improve. He also stressed that they should be brave and think outside the box to be able to compete up to the international level.
“When we talk about the economy and Bumiputera agenda, we should start with education but we cannot stop just there.
“Education should be promoted and practised as a lifelong learning process and our thinking should also change, otherwise we will stagnate,” he said.