KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 ― Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng expressed his preference for the Central Spine Road (CSR) connecting the east coast of the peninsula to the west over the suspended East Coast Rail Line (ECRL).
Replying to a question by Kota Baru MP Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS) during Question Time, Lim said he personally prefers the CSR as it can benefit the public in Malaysia's east coast without over burdening the government, unlike the ECRL.
“The government must look at what we can afford. We will be burdened and we can't afford to pay RM81 billion (for the ECRL). We haven't taken into account the interest rate over 20 years due to the loan as well as the operational expenditure of RM1 billion a year. It will be a recurring loss.
“If, and I say if because we have not made a decision, the government decides to abandon this project (ECRL), I much prefer the Central Spine Road because it can give greater benefits to the public.
“It will make life easier for those returning home to the East Coast. This is my personal view and we are committed to see the CSR completed,” said Lim.
Takiyuddin earlier pointed out that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad promised balanced development for all states during the 11th Malaysia Plan Review last Thursday, adding that the cancellation of ECRL would weigh on development of the states on the east.
He asked whether or not Lim agreed with this.