Guan Eng hints that the ECRL could be rerouted to Negeri Sembilan

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SEREMBAN (April 5): Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng hinted that  the East Coast Railway Line (ECRL) may be rerouted to Negeri Sembilan during a ceramah for the Rantau State seat by-election tonight.

Lim said the ECRL project would be continued in the near future if negotiations on the project led by the chairman of the Council of Eminent Persons, Tun Daim Zainuddin could reduce the cost of its construction further, Bernama reported.

“If this can be done, it would not only be good for the country but also for the people of Negeri Sembilan because the alignment will also be changed, and I say this will be good for Negeri Sembilan,” he said.

The negotiations which were expected to be able to reduce the construction cost by up to RM35 billion from the original cost of RM66 billion, would bring good news to the people of Negeri Sembilan, Lim said in his speech before hundreds of people who attended the Pakatan Harapan group ceramah here tonight.

Also present were DAP vice-president who is also Human Resource Minister M. Kula Segaran, DAP National Organising Secretary Anthony Loke Siew Fook, PKR vice-president who is also Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye and Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate for the by-election Dr S. Streram.

Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, added that the sale of the luxury yacht, Equanimity, was proof that the 1MDB scandal which caused the country's current financial crisis actually took place.

Advising the people not to be duped again by Barisan Nasional (BN), Lim said the sale of the yacht indirectly showed that the Opposition leader concerned had cheated the people all this while by denying the existence of the scandal which occurred during the Barisan Nasional administration previously.

"They said that the 1MDB issue was a lie...if we had lied then how could we sell the luxury yacht at a price of US$126 million?” he said.

Last Wednesday, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas announced in a statement that the yacht was bought by Genting Malaysia Bhd or a special purpose company at a price of US$126 million.

Lim explained that the country now had to bear debts amounting to RM150 billion because of 1MDB and the companies linked to it.

"We had to withdraw funds amounting to billions of ringgit, this is not a small amount, but they were the ones who stole but we get the blame. They had spoiled us, but the ones who saved us get the blame. I hope we don't get cheated. We have long been cheated, If we still want to be cheated now...then there is no future lah,” he said.

In the by-election, Dr Streram will face the BN candidate Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and two independent candidates namely housewife R Malarvizhi and former lecturer Mohd Nor Yassin.