Dr M: ECRL to continue despite calls for review

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad attends the launch of the National Heritage and Culture Charter in Kuala Lumpur September 20, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad attends the launch of the National Heritage and Culture Charter in Kuala Lumpur September 20, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project will carry on despite calls for a review, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

His comments come amid the recent court testimony by Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, who had alleged that the project as well as the Trans Sabah Gas Pipeline and the Multi Product Pipeline were used to bailout 1MDB and SRC International.

Speaking to the press after launching the National Heritage and Culture Charter here today, the prime minister said those who want to call it off should negotiate with Beijing.

“They have to negotiate. If they are willing to negotiate with the Chinese and tell me that they can suspend, I will follow them,” he said commenting on the remarks made by prominent economist Professor Jomo Kwame Sundaram who called on Putrajaya to consider cancelling the mega project during a forum recently.

Dr Mahathir said that the Chinese government has not shared with Putrajaya its thoughts on the new claims.

“Well, it may have a contract to construct it and as you know, we have reduced the scope and the cost,” he said.

The 94-year-old prime minister also said that it is up to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the matter if it suspects something is wrong but the government will not ask it “to do anything”.

Touching on rumours that Khazanah Nasional Berhad has plans to let go of its stake in Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad, Dr Mahathir said that no decision on the matter has been made.

When asked if he supports the rumoured plans, he said that he needs to find out the reason first before commenting further.

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