KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) may finally see the light of day as a news report today claimed Malaysia and China will be signing an agreement on the project in Beijing tomorrow.
Sin Chew Daily cited a source in the Malaysian negotiation team who said the prime minister’s special envoy to China, Tun Daim Zainuddin, had arrived in Beijing and was negotiating the final details.
The daily added that Daim will hold a press conference at the Malaysian Embassy at 2pm where he is expected to announce the outcome of his negotiations.
On Monday, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali had said that it was hoped that the negotiations would conclude before Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad leaves for China for the Belt and Road Forum, which starts on April 26.
The Pakatan Harapan government suspended the 688km ECRL when it ousted Barisan Nasional in the general election last year due to its high cost.
Dr Mahathir, who had said that the project would leave the country indebted for an entire generation, last month said it could continue only if the price is right.
Last Friday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng raised expectations that the negotiations were going well when he hinted that the alignment of the rail line would be rerouted to benefit Negri Sembilan.
He had also said the project would go on if the cost of construction could be reduced from RM66 billion to RM35 billion.