MMC Corp submitted revised proposal on MRT3 at end-2018

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 9): MMC Corp Bhd had submitted a proposal to revise the Mass Rapid Transit 3 (MRT3), which is also known as the Circle Line, to the government at the end of last year, said the group's managing director Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh.

Che Khalib said the proposal provides an alternative for reducing the project cost, which is at RM45 billion under the original plan.

However, he is tight-lipped about the cost reduction, adding the proposal is a completely different solution.

"(In the proposal,) what we suggested to the government is to complete the project in phases, instead of complete the entire project in one goal," he told the media after MMC Corp's annual general meeting today, adding the proposal also include underground stations to be changed to elevated stations.

Che Khalib explained that the priority of the proposal plan for MRT3 would be given to the high-density places.

For example, he said, under the new proposal, the MRT3 line could start with two-thirds of the length by connecting the high density areas that tend to have high demand for public rail transport. The remaining part could be completed in different phases once the demand for those areas starts to grow.

The 40km MRT3 was originally planned to ply through Kerinchi, Jalan Duta, Setiawangsa, Salak Selatan, Pandan Indah and Bandar Malaysia via underground rail tracks.

The MRT3 was terminated after the Pakatan Harapan-led government took over a year ago.

According to The Edge Malaysia weekly, quoting a source familiar with the matter, the federal government together with construction giant Gamuda Bhd are understood to have had talks over the past few months to revive the rail project, at about RM22.5 billion.

Though there are no details yet of the plans being discussed, or how Gamuda is able to slash the price, the source said the government "is quite receptive" to the MRT3 proposal.

On May 6, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said MRT3 is still too costly to be revived.

As at 3.45pm, MMC Corp's share price is up two sen to RM1.03, giving it a market capitalisation of RM3.136 billion. Some 1.28 million shares were traded so far today.