KUALA LUMPUR – The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has given an inaccurate statement on the RM21.5 billion savings they got from the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) additional agreement.
Minister of Transport, Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong revealed that the cost reduction would definitely happen when the scale of the project is shrunk and there was a reduction in job scope in comparison to the original agreement.
However, the government needs to bear other costs and at the same time, would suffer additional cost of development and the complications from the operations in the future.
After scrutinising in depth, the unit rate for costing for the elevated structure, at-grade or tunnels used by the ECRL contractors was never changed or reduced, despite the new route proposed by PH.
“There were some costs which were hidden from the public knowledge. For example, the cost of cancellation, abandonment and the postpone of project due to the change of route to the new route through Negeri Sembilan and Putrajaya, over RM1billion cost of realignment of section from Kota Bharu to Dungun claimed by the contractor,” he said in his Facebook post in reply to the statement by former Transport Minister, Anthony Loke.
According to Ka Siong, the ECRL route from Kota Bharu-Dungun-Mentakab-Kuala Klawang-Nilai-Putrajaya-Rimbayu using electric train and the extension route from Rimbayu to Port Klang using the last-mile spur line will be connected using diesel train as there will be a draw bridge in Port Klang which cannot be electrified.
On Anthony’s allegation that the additional agreement would save the Klang Gate Quartz Ridge from being destroyed by the ECRL route, Ka Siong said that the contractor had offered some options.
“I would like to let Anthony know that all options to resolve the issue presented to the Selangor Government would definitely not destroy the Gombak quartz ridge. If he doesn’t believe it, he can check with MRL,” he added.
MRK or Malaysia Rail Link Sdn. Bhd. a company fully owned by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated.
According to Ka Siong, the findings by the Transport Ministry on the ECRL route will be presented to the cabinet for consideration and to finalise on Section C route.
After being decided by the Cabinet, the government is ready to explain to the people in detail on what the government will do for the benefit of all, especially in bringing economic impact to the country and why we choose to do so.
“I will personally explain this in detail to the people in a media session and I will invite Anthony to attend,” he added. –MalaysiaGazette