Malaysia’s mega deals under scrutiny
Malaysia’s Pakatan Harapan government has reviewed several large infrastructure projects since it came into power in May, claiming that the previous Barisan Nasional administration had saddled the country with over RM1 trillion (S$332 billion) in debt and that corruption had inflated the costs of some of these deals.
Here is a look at the projects on hold or cancelled:
EAST COAST RAIL LINK
What: A 688km rail line from Tumpat, Kelantan to Port Klang, Selangor with operations slated to begin by 2024 Main contractor: China Communications Construction Company Cost: RM81 billion Status: Suspended indefinitely.
What: The Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline – a 662km pipeline in Sabah, running from Kimanis Gas Terminal to Sandakan and Tawau; and the Multi-Product Pipeline – a 600km petroleum pipeline connecting Melaka and Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan to Jitra, Kedah Main contractor: China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Cost: RM9.4 billion Status: Cancelled. After discovering that 88 per cent of the contract value was paid when only 13 per cent of the work was completed, the government initially suspended the project before cancelling it this month. The project is 85 per cent financed by China’s Exim Bank.
SINGAPORE-KUALA LUMPUR HIGH SPEED RAIL (HSR)
What: The 350km HSR line, agreed between the governments of Singapore and Malaysia in 2016, would have cut travel times between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to only 90 minutes compared with four hours by car Main contractor: Not appointed yet Cost: RM110 billion Status: Deferred by two years to May 31, 2020. Originally slated to be completed by end-2026.
Hazlin Hassan and Trinna Leong