China help for East Coast rail­way

> Malaysia to sign agree­ment to­day

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

BEI­JING: Malaysia and China will sign an agree­ment for the con­struc­tion of the RM55 bil­lion East Coast Rail­way Line (ECRL) con­nect­ing Port Klang and Tumpat to­day.

Trea­sury Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Tan Sri Ir­wan Seri­gar Ab­dul­lah said if fi­nanc­ing for the project could be fi­nalised by year-end, the dou­ble-track rail project could take off by next year.

“The project would con­fer sev­eral ben­e­fits such as low­er­ing the trans­porta­tion cost be­tween the west and east coasts and re­duc­ing trav­el­ling time.

“It would also cre­ate more jobs and busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for Malaysians, es­pe­cially rural folks,” he told the Malaysian me­dia upon ar­rival here, as part of Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Abdul Razak’s del­e­ga­tion which ar­rived yes­ter­day for a six-day of­fi­cial visit.

Ir­wan said although the Frame­work Fi­nanc­ing Agree­ment and En­gi­neer­ing, Pro­cure­ment, Con­struc­tion (EPC) con­tract had not been fi­nalised yet, the fi­nanc­ing of­fered by China was com­pet­i­tive, with a low rate and long re­pay­ment pe­riod of 20 years.

He said the project was cru­cial to Malaysia and can­not be de­layed since it would not only de­velop the coun­try’s trans­porta­tion sec­tor but also help speed up the growth of small towns along the way.

It would also as­sist in the trans­fer of rail tech­nol­ogy.

“Fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of rail­way is the in thing, and Malaysia needs to make the move in get­ting the tech­nol­ogy and the new sys­tem in rail­way con­struc­tion,” he said.

Ir­wan added the project would be im­ple­mented in phases, the first phase from Port Klang to Gom­bak and Dun­gun, and the sec­ond phase from Dun­gun to Tumpat.

Na­jib, in tabling the 2017 Bud­get, had said the project would connect town­ships such as Port Klang, ITT (In­te­grated Trans­port Ter­mi­nal) Gom­bak, Ben­tong, Men­takab, Kuantan, Ke­ma­man, Kerteh, Kuala Tereng­ganu, Kota Baru and Tumpat. – Ber­nama

BERNAMAPIX

Na­jib be­ing greeted by China's Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Liu Zhen Min upon his ar­rival at Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Air­port yes­ter­day.

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