Najib clarifies 5 misunderstandings about ECRL, urges for RCI

© Free Malaysia Today Najib answers criticisms on ECRL, calls for RCI

Former prime minister Najib Razak says the assertion by Pakatan Harapan that the ECRL project only cost RM30 billion was inaccurate.

GEORGE TOWN: Former Prime Minister Najib Razak today clarified five misconceptions on the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and Sabah gas pipeline projects worth RM85 billion while urging a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) be set up to detect any wrongdoings.

He said the first misconception arose from the RM55 billion cost of the project, which he said was justified, taking into account adjustments to the rail alignment, inflation and the weak ringgit.

The finance ministry had said in July that the final cost of the ECRL is RM81 billion, taking into account double tracking costs, land acquisition, interest, fees and operational costs.

Najib said the assertion by Pakatan Harapan that the project only cost RM30 billion was inaccurate and in fact, it was a price quoted in 2009, when the railway line spanned just 545km.

Najib said after expanding the line to 620km, adjusting the alignment to avoid land acquisition, a 50km tunnel through the Titiwangsa Range and extending the final station from Gombak, initially, to Port Klang had effectively increased the cost of the project.

If the ECRL is built seven years from now, it will cost even more. For example, the Penang Transport Master Plans (PTMP) estimated cost has shot up from RM27 billion to nearly RM50 billion now, he said in a statement p....

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