Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan welcomed the federal government’s move to re-route the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) via Negri Sembilan.
At a Pakatan Harapan (PH) ceramah held in Kuala Sawah, near here, last night, Lim Guan Eng dropped a hint that the state would benefit from the (ECRL) project once it is concluded.
SEREMBAN: Umno has welcomed the federal government’s move to re-route the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) via Negri Sembilan.
Its deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said that the decision, announced by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on Friday, “makes a lot of sense”.
Lim had said that rerouting the high-speed rail line through the state is possible, even at the newly-negotiated reduced cost.
“We know that in conducting a project such as this, what contributes to its high cost is land acquisition.
“Land in the Klang Valley and Kuala Lumpur cost between RM700 and RM800 per square feet, whereby in Negri Sembilan, the price is only RM40 per square feet.
“So, rerouting the line through Negri Sembilan before it heads to the east coast via Pahang, which is located just next to this state, is a good idea in order to reduce the cost.
“I welcome this idea. Although I am with the opposition, any idea that’s good for the country and the people will be supported,” he said.
Mohamad was speaking at a press conference at Barisan Nasional’s (BN) command centre here, today.
At a Pakatan Harapan (PH) ceramah held in Kuala Sawah, near here, last night, Lim had dropped a hint that the state would benefit from the (ECRL) project once it is concluded.
He said the 688km rail link, which will connect Port Klang in Selangor with Pengkalan Kubor in Kelantan, could be changed if the project continues at a reduced cost.
The ECRL project, which was approved by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Oct 2016, initially cost RM55 billion.
The cost then ballooned to RM130 billion after taking into account the interest incurred from the project’s loan financing.
In February, Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin had said that a negotiation team from the Chinese government was expected to visit Malaysia to discuss a lower cost.
It was reported that the project could be carried out at a cost of RM35 billion.