KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 — The gross domestic product (GDP) of three East Coast states in Peninsular Malaysia is projected to grow by another 1.5 per cent at the current rate with the implementation of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He said the project would change the economic landscapes of Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang and turn them into trade hubs and tourism destinations, stimulate small and medium enterprises and focus for new investments.
Najib said the ECRL project was important to close the development gap between the east and west coast.
“ECRL is a 'game changer' that could spur higher growth rates for the east coast states,” he said in the opening speech of the session on “Public Inspection ECRL” here today.
The plan for the 600.3-kilometre ECRL project, which will have 23 stations, is opened for public inspection for three months starting today at the Land Public Transport Commission head office.
The public can also do it at 38 other locations, district offices like in Kota Baru, Tumpat, Kuala Terengganu, Besut, Kuantan, and Temerloh.
Najib said the East Coast states had huge potentials for the development of sectors such as agriculture, commerce, industries, SMEs and tourism, and it needed a more efficient transport system like the ECRL.
“Besides being environmentally-friendly, the ECRL will facilitate movements of the people during the festive season with the potential duration of the trip from Kuala Lumpur (Gombak) to Wakaf Bharu, Kelantan, in about four hours,” he said.
Najib said the high-impact ECRL project was for the people and would connect towns and boost their economic activities.
He said in the development of such a large project, it was not wrong to have tie-ups with major economic nations as it would not affect the sovereignty of the country.
“Teaming up with the major economic nations such as China, Saudi Arabia, India, and Japan, will be beneficial to the country and the people. Hence, the project, such as the ECRL, should not be politicised,” he said.— Bernama