Malaysia’s eastern railway project back on track

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Malaysia will resume work on the multi-billion dollar East Coast Rail Link after negotiations with the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and Beijing brought the cost down by a third.

The cost of the first two phases of the line was significantly reduced from 65.5 billion Malaysian ringgit ($15.9 billion) to 44 billion ringgit ($10.6 billion), the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on April 12.

Malaysia said it welcomed the signing of a supplemental agreement between Malaysia Rail Link and CCCC, the main contractor, which would pave the way for construction on the 688-kilometer railway to resume.

“This reduction will surely benefit Malaysia and lighten the burden on the country’s financial position,” it the statement said. Further details are scheduled to be announced on April 15.

The electrified railway is designed to connect Malaysia’s capital with the towns on the peninsula’s east and northeast and, backed by loans from China arranged in the era of former prime minister Najib Razak.

Critics said the railway benefited China more than Malaysia. China is building a deep-sea port on Malaysia’s east coast and the railway is a key link in its Belt and Road Initiative.

The project was stopped by the new administration shortly afterwards because it was too expensive. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad initially said he was worried that the cost of construction would leave the country indebted for a generation. However, now he noted that the reduced cost would be easier to manage and also ease the long-term interest burden.

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Malaysia will resume work on the multi-billion dollar East Coast Rail Link after negotiations with the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and Beijing brought the cost down by a third. The cost of the first two phases of the line was significantly reduced from 65.5 billion Malaysian ringgit ($15.9 billion) to 44 billion ringgit ($10.6 billion), the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement on April 12. Malaysia said it welcomed the signing of a supplemental agreement between Malaysia Rail Link and CCCC, the main contractor, which would pave the way for construction on the 688-kilometer railway to resume. “This...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Auto Draft

Malaysia will resume work on the multi-billion dollar East Coast Rail Link after negotiations with the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and Beijing brought the cost down by a third.

The cost of the first two phases of the line was significantly reduced from 65.5 billion Malaysian ringgit ($15.9 billion) to 44 billion ringgit ($10.6 billion), the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on April 12.

Malaysia said it welcomed the signing of a supplemental agreement between Malaysia Rail Link and CCCC, the main contractor, which would pave the way for construction on the 688-kilometer railway to resume.

“This reduction will surely benefit Malaysia and lighten the burden on the country’s financial position,” it the statement said. Further details are scheduled to be announced on April 15.

The electrified railway is designed to connect Malaysia’s capital with the towns on the peninsula’s east and northeast and, backed by loans from China arranged in the era of former prime minister Najib Razak.

Critics said the railway benefited China more than Malaysia. China is building a deep-sea port on Malaysia’s east coast and the railway is a key link in its Belt and Road Initiative.

The project was stopped by the new administration shortly afterwards because it was too expensive. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad initially said he was worried that the cost of construction would leave the country indebted for a generation. However, now he noted that the reduced cost would be easier to manage and also ease the long-term interest burden.

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