BEIJING: Confirmed – Malaysia received the cost of constructing the East Coast Railway Link (ECRL) project with RM21.5bil, which is almost one-third of the original cost.
The new price is now set at RM44b, down 32.8% from the previous RM66b.
Tun Daim Zainuddin, who was leading the talks with China, said the latest estimate of cost was now easier for the government.
“He will also seek a reduced loan from Exim Bank which will reduce the interest paid by going further,” he told Malaysia journalists at the Malaysia Embassy yesterday.
With the new price tag, the cost of construction of the project is now at RM68mil per km, per RM98mil per km first.
Yesterday, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd and China Communications Construction Company Sign Company Limited An extra agreement to get the project moving forward.
The agreement also changed some changes from the route from Kota Baru at Kelantan to Port Klang in Selangor, all of which were cut by 40km to 648km.
“There will still be a double track,” said Daim, the Prime Minister's Special Ambassador.
As a result of the renegotiated route, the railway will be sent to Negri Negotiations of Mentakab in Pahang, crossing Bentong in Pahang and Gombak in Selangor as previously planned.
"He will start off in the Kota Baru, then to Mentakab, Jelebu and Kuala Klawang in Negri Sembilan, leading to Bangi, Kajang, Putrajaya and finally in Port Klang," he said, without having t 'improve'.
He said that the new construction would be as fast as possible with the new completion date to be reinstated until 2026, with a two-year delay from the planned project first.
Daim, who is also chairman of the famous People's Council, said it was agreed that 40% of the subcontractors for the project would mean Malaysians.
Negotiations continued to be borrowed and the interest level noted, he said.
“Now that the cost is lower, the loan will also be lower,” he said.
Daim refused to reveal any more information, saying that the Prime Minister will be talking about Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaking to a press conference on the ECRL Monday.
The Scottish government's spokesperson said Lu Kang's Foreign Affairs said the government was pleased to see the matter through friendly negotiation.
He said China and Malaysia were good neighbors and partners, who looked to relationships with each other.
Lu Kang said China was planning to start the project soon.
At Putrajaya, the First Minister's Office (PMO) consolidated the latest information on the introduction of the ECRL.
“The signing was achieved after months of discussions between the companies involved and the Malaysian and China governments.
“This reduction (in cost) will undoubtedly benefit Malaysia and become more attractive to the country's financial circumstances,” he said in yesterday's statement.
The PMO said the additional agreement covered the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning issues of the ECRL.
He confirmed that Dr Mahathir would make a speech to the media at 11 am on the Monday.
The original application of 688km ECRL included Stage 1, stretching from Glen Klang to Kuantan.
Level 2 is from Kuantan to Kuala Terengganu and Level 3 links Kuala Terengganu to Kota Baru and Tumpat.
The government of Pagatan Harapan stopped the ECRL project after it had won the general election last year.
Daim: It took nine months before the negotiations were made