ECRL: Not cost reduction, but infrastructure reduction

Following is an editorial adapted from NST Online complete with responses by TTF (in blue):

PUTRAJAYA: The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project could resume as early as next month if approvals from the relevant authorities are obtained.

Darwis Abdul Razak, chief executive officer of Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) which is the project owner, said if all goes well, work on the suspended project could start immediately.

TTF: Had Mahathir not interfered, the actual cost of the East Coast Railway-Link would have been an estimated USD13.1 billion as agreed upon by the Government of Malaysia (GoM) with the state-owned China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC).

The company awarded the project, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL), would also have retained a 100 per cent ownership of the project, as compared to now, where the project main contractor, China Communications Construction Ltd (CCCC), has been given a 50 per cent stake in MRL. 

Due to the stop work order previously issued to CCCC, the Chinese government estimated that its contractors suffered losses worth USD1.5 to 2 billion, with smaller players linked to those contractors ceasing operations altogether.

The Star Online put the number of workers retrenched as a result of the stop work order at 1,000 people.

Quoting unnamed sources, the report alleged that the suspension affected a significant number of Chinese expatriates and senior executives who The Third Force was told were skilled and paid millions in compensations.

An industrial source familiar with the matter, when met, related that the contractors also paid massive amounts in deposits for three year-long blanket orders to anticipate a rise in construction material costs.

To resolve the matter, Mahathir got Daim to renegotiate terms with China leading to CCCC’s 50 per cent stake in ERL.

All this just to allow Mahathir’s cronies and Daim’s banking network to get involved with the project.

NST Online continued..

Malaysia and China agreed to resume the construction of the ECRL project at a cost of RM44 billion, almost one-third cheaper than the originally proposed figure.

Among other things, changes were made to the original ECRL route to avoid the construction of an 18km tunnel cutting into the Titiwangsa range, subsequently reducing the overall cost of the multibillion-ringgit project.

The 640km alignment will cut through five states instead of four.

TTF: This is what Syed Agil Jamalullail had to say about the ‘cost cutting’:

Kos ECRL baru yang diumumkan BUKAN PENJIMATAN, tapi hanya pengurangan spesifikasi skop projek.

Ini sekaligus menolak fitnah Mahathir bahawa ECRL boleh dibina pd kos RM10 billion dan fitnah DAP kononnya ECRL boleh dibina pada harga RM35 billion.

Rupa-rupanya, untuk kurangkan kos, PH perlu buang 40km railway dan stesen serta terowong.

Bukan itu saja, Daim juga perlu membuang 18km terowong – Longest transportation tunnel in Malaysia, yang melibatkan heavy tunneling melalui banjaran Titiwangsa.

Juga dibuang ialah stesen gombak, bentong, serendah, yang mengikut survey JICA, KL-Bentong merupakan antara paling banyak pengguna.

Apa yang belum pasti ialah apabila Daim mengumumkan  laluan Kota Baru- Mentakab. Tanpa menyebut semua stesen di pantai timur.

Berapakah stesen di pantai timur dipotong? Berapa terowong drpd total 50km dipotong?

The RM21.5 billion savings to the country represented a 32.8 per cent reduction from the original construction cost of RM65.5 billion for the first two phases.

Adapted from:


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