Daim moots special division to handle ECRL investments

Daim Zainuddin.

KUALA LUMPUR: Daim Zainuddin says a special division should be established to facilitate investments from China as well as domestic sources for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.

“When I went to China recently, I was approached by investors who said they are keen to invest here. So I think this special division will fit the job to assist investors from China and also local investors.

“If it (the special division) is formed, when Chinese investors come here and we arrange for meetings and assist them until they get approval (for their investments), they will be able to see that things are moving fast. We will gain their trust,” he told Bernama.

Daim said the division was requested by both Chinese and local investors, adding that he had already briefed Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the matter.

As for local investors, Daim advised them to be ready for spillover effects as the project workers would need services such as accommodation and food.

He also urged those in the east coast to take advantage of the RM44 billion project.

“If the locals are smart and take advantage of this (project), they can help improve (investment) spending and generate revenue. This is one way to boost gross domestic product growth,” he said.

He also urged those in the areas along the ECRL route to take the opportunity to promote their local specialties and services.

“They must go out and say, look, we have the infrastructure and we have the people who can work (for you). And I expect after the prime minister returns from his One Belt, One Road summit in China at the end of this month, more advantages will be coming to us,” he added.

Earlier this week, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd and China Communications Construction Company Ltd agreed to form a 50:50 joint-venture company to manage, operate and maintain the ECRL rail network.