KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — The government received offers as low as RM10 billion to complete the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The prime minister said while it was not necessary to price the project that low, the country could not afford the current cost of the ECRL, according to The Malaysian Insight.
“Some even said they can do the ECRL for RM10 billion instead of RM55 billion. Some are Chinese companies, some are local companies,” he was quoted as saying.
“We have to talk with them if there is a possibility of reducing the cost from RM55 billion to RM10 billion. We would be stupid not to accept.”
He did not name the companies that made such offers or state if these were for existing or modified parameters.
However, the prime minister said the offers must be studied to see if is possible to complete the project for that little.
When asked to explain the discrepancy between his announcement in China that the ECRL and two gas pipeline projects were cancelled and his subsequent clarification otherwise, Dr Mahathir said he only announced the matter “in principle”.
While he said the intention was to cancel these, studies were ongoing to see if they could also be postponed or made cheaper.