KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 — Transport Minister Anthony Loke yesterday met Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar to discuss the relationship between the federation and the states as per the system of federalism practised in Malaysia.

In a post on Facebook, Loke said that he has known Ahmad Samsuri for the past 10 years since Pakatan Rakyat days and still respects him as a highly professional political leader with a good personality despite their political differences.

“All parties need to accept the fact that Malaysia’s political landscape today is very different in situations where the state governments are dominated by different political alliances.

“In the matter of national and state administration, all parties must be professional and carry out their tasks with a full sense of responsibility,” Loke said in a statement in which he shared Ahmad Samsuri’s post of a picture of the pair having breakfast.

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Loke added that the Transportation Ministry will ensure that the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project will become a catalyst for economic growth in the area and will help along the development of industrial areas in Terengganu in parallel with the wishes of the state government.

In Ahmad Samsuri’s Facebook post, he said that he and Loke discussed empowering Kemaman Port and strengthening the role of the ECRL in Permaisuri and Jerteh so that it can be used as cargo hubs there for medium and small weights to provide suitable industrial areas there to boost the economy and employment opportunities.

“This hour-and-a-half discussion in a cheerful and positive atmosphere is a sign for the need for a positive attitude in the relationship between the federal government and state despite different political stances,” he said.

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Last month, national news agency Bernama reported Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali as saying that construction of the ECRL had reached 48.77 per cent of progress.

The work progress was in line with the development of the project from Kota Baru in Kelantan all the way to the Gombak Integrated Terminal in Selangor which is scheduled to be completed in December 2026 so that the ECRL service may begin operations in January 2027, the Chief Secretary to the Government reportedly said.