ECRL? More time needed to study the benefits

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Is the East Coast Railway Line cancelled or postponed? Depending on who you ask perhaps. The supporters for it will say it is merely postponed. The rest says that it has been postponed and that it has been announced formally many times. When I google for more info, I do find never ending articles about the cancellation, postponements and even the potential fines from the cancellation. At least the High Speed Rail KL – SG is now formally deferred toa starting date of 2031. Earlier article about the joint announcement here. 

How about understanding this from our Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali? He said that ECRLis still in an on-going discussion. The cabinet has discussed and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has asked to be given a little more time to look into the suitability of the project. He added, “In the ECRL project, we must look whether the project can create value and give benefits to the people in an economic situation which is highly untenable currently.”  He added that the reason for the current situation was because its implementation previously was not transparent. He said, “Almost RM20 billion had already been paid out when the progress of the project was still at the minimal level and (it is) something that should be investigated.” Full article in edgeprop.my here. 

Frankly, whether to continue or not to continue, it’s not about whether it was badly managed previously. It’s not even about transparency of payments. All these can be solved since we have the new government, right? The answer should just be on the potential economic benefits to those along the line as well as the country as a whole. By the way, it’s not about the cost and how long the government needs to pay back yeah. If it is only looked at from the cost vs revenue part, I do not think we should have built the PLUS highway (same argument last time), the KLIA (same argument last time) and even the current MRT SBK and the upcoming MRT SSP. With connectivity comes economic activity and of course contributing to continuous economic growth for the country. Oh yeah, the High Speed Rail? Earlier article here. It’s new demand, not the existing Happy following the discussion.

written on 5 Oct2018

Next suggested article:  MRT 3 deferred. Affect some spots perhaps. 

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