MRT3 project postponed, not cancelled, minister clarifies

Transport Minister Anthony Loke at the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 31, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Transport Minister Anthony Loke at the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 31, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — The Mass Rapid Transit Line (MRT3) project has only been postponed and not cancelled, Transport Minister Anthony Loke clarified today.

Responding to Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin’s question on the implications if the infrastructure project is scrapped, Loke said the government is still evaluating the project.

“We are reviewing it to bring down the costs. Due to this phase of the project being mostly in urban areas, more than three quarters of it would be tunnels and this itself would cost almost RM50 billion.

“So we need to review the feasibility of it from the mechanical, land, expertise, and when appointing the contractor which will give us the opportunity to look at the project and to avoid overspending,” Loke answered during question time this morning.

Loke explained the decision to stall the infrastructure project was made by the Cabinet, after looking at the country’s financial position.

“The Cabinet will decide when it will be resumed, but for now the government wants to decrease spending.

“When the (nation’s) financial state gets better, the MRT project will be prioritised again,” he said.

Loke also did not deny the potential benefits of the MRT3 project, but again stressed the financial burden it carried needed to be looked at first.

He added the government were also looking to encourage more users to commute using the existing public transport services.

“We also want to encourage more of the public to use the existing public transport facilities, as the MRT has been seeing an average of just around 146,842 daily commuters, about one-third of their 450,000 capacity,” he added.

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