Malaysian Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL), the owner of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, today clarified the "misleading information" about the revised project in point-to-point killing.
Although the names did not mention the names, it is believed that this is a concern about the project launched by former Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
On the first claim that the new southern settlement would lead to an increase in travel time from Kota Bharu to Kuala Lumpur by six o'clock, the MRL said the journey would last only about four hours.
"The distance from Kota Bharu to Putrajaia Sentral under the new south direction is 550 km, covering 17 stations. The distance from Kota Bharu to Gombaka under the previous position was 525 km, covering 18 stations.
"With a speed of 160 kilometers, an additional 25km adds less than 10 minutes travel time, which will be further reduced due to a reduction in the number of stations," the statement said.
The three existing rail lines available in the Putrajaia Sentral, added to the MRL, would also offer travelers more options for traveling to the city center, KLIA and the north compared to the previous alignment.
There is no risk to national security
In its statement, the MRL also challenged the claim that its joint management, operation and maintenance (MOM) agreement with China Communications Construction (CCCC) lent 50% ownership of the ECRL-owned companies owned by Beijing.
"We must distinguish ownership and joint operations. The Joint Operations Agreement does not include, in any way, the transfer of any form of ownership of the ECRL to CCCC.
"It is exclusively about sharing the costs of the MOM, with the exchange of technical knowledge and expertise between CCCC and MRL.
"The Government of Malaysia will own 100 percent of all ECRL funds through the MRL, from the beginning to the end of the joint arrangement of the MOM."
The MRL also emphasized that joint venture will not announce any national security threat as allegedly, as it will be under the authority of Malaysia.
"The directors of a joint venture and the appointment of its executive director will be at the discretion of the MRL."
The company also referred to the claim that the reduced price of ECRL was the result of a new alignment of the 18km tunnel removal that passes through the Titivangs area, with fewer stations being built.
According to this statement, the costs for the first two phases of the project – including dual tracking – would be 65.5 billion RM, including the alleged "Genting" tunnel of 10 billion KM, which went through that range.
With the omission of this tunnel, the costs would still amount to 55.5 billion RM.
The number of planned stations within the original ECRL project for Phases 1 and 2 was 24 stations (excluding Pengkalan Kubor and Vakaf Bar under the northern extension).
"With new alignment, the number of stations is now 20. A further reduction in costs from 55.5 billion to 44 billion marks would not be exclusively because four stations were left out."
Last Friday it was announced that the government would continue with the ECRL project at a reduced price of 44 billion RM.
The project was originally estimated by the government of the BN to 55 billion RM.
Shortly after Pakatan Harapan assumed federal power, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the project could cost up to 81 billion RM.