KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman today congratulated Tun Daim Zainuddin for striking the deal that saved billions of ringgit from the improved East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project deal with China.
Syed Saddiq on Twitter commended Putrajaya’s move to reduce the ECRL’s cost by RM21.5 billion.
“Congratulations Tun Daim. You were instrumental in negotiating this deal. Thank you for saving BILLIONS for Malaysia! [sic].
“After months of negotiations with China, the Malaysian government is successful in reducing the cost of ECRL by RM21.5billion!” he posted on Twitter.
Syed Saddiq added that the savings are equal to 21 years’ worth of expenditure in his ministry.
Earlier, Daim said the new ECRL price was enough to pay for two more Petronas Twin Towers.
The former finance minister, who led negotiations with Beijing on the project, said the cost reduction was achieved through shortening the alignment by just 5 per cent from the original.
The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement earlier today confirming the new negotiated price with China, which was reduced from RM65.5 billion to RM44 billion, prior to Daim’s remarks.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is scheduled to visit China later this month for a conference on the Belt-Road Initiative, of which the ECRL represents its flagship in Malaysia.