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ECRL Won’t Continue If It Will Damage Klang Gates Quartz Ridge

Putrajaya is unlikely to allow the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) to continue if the Chinese company building it can’t solve a major issue with the Selangor state government, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told Malaysiakini.

“Unless we can overcome the objections by the Selangor government, I don’t see how this project can proceed.”

Notably, the Selangor state government is strongly against the ECRL, particularly the portion connecting Port Klang with the Integrated Transport Terminal (ITT) in Gombak, as this will pass across the 16km-long Klang Gates Quartz Ridge.

If the ECRL will encroach on this land form, which is the world’s longest quartz ridge, the latter can’t be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is being lobbied by the Selangor state government.

Consequently, Putrajaya is keeping “all options on the table” regarding the ECRL. Nevertheless, he hopes a decision can be made on the rail project before the federal government announces next year’s budget in November 2018.

“I am not setting any deadline (for the decision), just that preferably it should be made before Budget 2019 so we can provide more credibility and certainty,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Lim revealed that the negotiation with the Chinese firms involved in the ECRL project is being handled by former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, as this important task was delegated to him by the Prime Minister himself.

In fact, PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad asked Daim to look into the ECRL before Lim was appointed as Finance Minister.

“It is only natural that he (Daim) continues with it. I have no issues with this, we talk quite often. I also feel that too many cooks will spoil the broth, so I’ll just leave it to him to handle.”

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