KUANTAN: The Pahang government is appealing to the Federal government to reconsider its decision to cancel the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project. Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail described the move to call-off the project as a loss to the east coast states, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan where early construction works have already began. He said the Federal government’s decision will also result in many people losing their jobs. “In Pahang, the ECRL work has reached between 13 and 14 percent so far. At sites like Genting Sempah and Bentong, tunnel boring works for ECRL’s underground rail have started. “Furthermore, the land acquisition applications is already at the state legal adviser’s office and this includes private land, which has to be gazetted to determine the amount for compensation,” he said in a statement on Thursday. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, during his official visit to China, announced the cancellation of the ECRL and construction of two gas pipelines in Sabah, saying the projects could not go on due to Malaysia’s financial woes. Dr Mahathir said he had conveyed the decision to the Chinese government and that they understood the problems faced by Malaysia. Meanwhile Wan Rosdy said based on records, some 1,394.4 ha of land involving 1,545 lots spanning a distance of 232.5km in Bentong, Temerloh, Bera, Maran and Kuantan districts were involved in the ECRL project. He said of the entire land area, about 385ha or 27.6 percent were government land while the remaining were private land, Malay reserve land and forest reserves. “Therefore, I appeal on behalf of the state government and those affected by the cancellation of the project, especially the workers who will lose their jobs, to the Federal government to reconsider its decision,” he said.
Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail described the move to call-off the project as a loss to the east coast states, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan where early construction works have already began. (NSTP/ MUHD ASYRAF SAWAL)
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