Anwar puzzled by plans to revert to original ECRL line

Anwar Ibrahim says the changes in the ECRL project would reduce construction costs.

PETALING JAYA: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim today hinted there would be strong resistance from Pakatan Harapan (PH) over calls to revert to the original plan of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), ahead of the Dewan Rakyat sitting next week.

Anwar said it was puzzling that the Perikatan Nasional government would agree to revert to the alignment proposed by the Barisan Nasional government if it came with higher costs.

He also questioned if the move was to enrich certain parties.

“I think it’s strange that despite negotiations, we’re returning to the original project when during my discussions with my colleagues in China and here, they had acknowledged that the costs could be reduced significantly.

“We will use the space we have in Parliament to urge the government to explain,” he told reporters when met at Port Dickson today.

The PH government had shortened the ECRL line by 40km, in addition to several changes including the realignment of several routes.

In April last year, Putrajaya announced a reduction of RM21.5 billion in construction cost for Phase 1 and 2 of the project following the signing of a supplementary agreement between Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd and China Communications Construction Company Ltd.

Economic affairs minister Mustapa Mohamed recently said the matter was still under discussion.

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