MELAKA (April 30): The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project needs to bring new industries and industrial sector development to the East Coast, which in turn, spurs economic growth that benefits the people, says Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
He said if there were no new industries and growth, no cargo to be transported via the ECRL, then there is be no reason to proceed with the project.
“Among the new conditions we laid down was to bring new industries to the East Coast. The ECRL is important if there is industrial growth that can generate economic growth and transfer of industrial cargo to Port Klang,” he said.
Mohamed Azmin said this to reporters after delivering his keynote address titled “People’s Hope Development: A New Malaysia Mechanism or Just a Rebranding?” at the Melaka Berwibawa Seminar in Bandar Hilir, here today.
The two-day seminar, which started yesterday, was officially launched by Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari earlier. Also present was Deputy Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar.
It was reported that the ECRL project would be revived and the construction costs for Phase 1 and Phase 2 have now been reduced to RM44 billion from RM65.5 billion.
Mohamed Azmin said the project’s RM21.5 billion savings was not due to the scaling down of its scope and specifications as alleged by several parties, instead they remained unchanged.
“It is still double track and the alignment and distance is about the same. What happened is that we do not allow them to pass through Gombak as there is a dam there and we do not want any problems (to occur). This decision was made when I was the Selangor Menteri Besar.
“We also have the Klang Gates Quartz ridge which was registered with Unesco as the world’s longest quartz ridge and we do not want them to bore through it and construct a RM10 billion tunnel. We’ve saved almost RM10 billion here.
“We are against the abuse of power, corruption and leakages, and we will continue with these practices and principles, including for the Bandar Malaysia project which will be governed by a new development concept,” he added.