FORMER transport minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has commended the federal and Selangor state governments for their commitment to proceed with the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.
He said this gives “clarity, predictability and confidence” to all stakeholders involved, including those who would eventually benefit from the service once the project is completed.
“The project progress is now about 37% and we all hope to see it completed on schedule in December 2026 and start operations from early 2027,” he wrote in a Facebook post today.
“My joint press conference with Selangor menteri besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari on Dec 2, 2021 marked the state’s acceptance to proceed with the northern alignment (now dubbed the ECRL 3.0 alignment) after all outstanding issues with the state’s environmental and social concerns were resolved.
“Their acceptance allowed MRL Sdn Bhd and China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) to sign the SA6 on June 2, 2022 to carry on with the last package of the 665km rail project at a cost of RM50.27 bil which includes a land bridge to Port Klang linking the ECRL to West Port and North Port.”
Wee said RM50.27 bil is the final cost figure for the ECRL project, which had been approved by the government.
“The number of stations had been reduced, soil improvement work has been omitted in 2019 while the ECRL was decided to be terminated at Kota Bharu instead of Pengkalan Kubor,” Wee noted.
“Once again, congratulations to the new government for continuing with the ECRL project as scheduled.”
Yesterday (Dec 21), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that the overall cost to complete the 665km ECRL project is now RM11.01 bil lower than originally set.
He said although there has been some increase in cost due to a rail realignment, the government has managed to reduce it after the Finance Ministry, Transport Ministry and Works Ministry conducted negotiations.
“The overall cost of the ECRL is now RM11.01 bil lower than the original cost of RM85.97 bil set in 2016,” he told a press conference today after chairing the cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya.
According to Anwar, the Government’s decision to proceed with the contentious project without any further changes is to prevent further delays to its completion and complication to ongoing works and negotiations. – Dec 22, 2022