Rural Development Ministry rejects claims opposition states hit by ECRL cancellation

Nor Fazlina Abdul Rahim

TUMPAT: The Rural Development Ministry has shot down claims that the cancellation of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project will negatively affect job opportunities for residents of opposition states. Rural Development Minister Rina Harun said this there are many more projects which could generate employment opportunities, not just the ECRL alone. “While we acknowledge that the ECRL could create various job opportunities, there are many more opportunities which can be obtained via other methods. “The government is now upgrading the level of infrastructure especially in the rural areas to enable its people to generate income without needing to move to other areas. “For example, with many people now doing business online, the government will be upgrading internet facilities so they can continue doing business. “The government is doing its best to create job opportunities so that those in the rural areas can have the same facilities as enjoyed by people in urban areas,” she said. Rina was speaking to the media after attending a programme organised by Srikandi Malaysia and Kelantan at Kampung Geting, here 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. The ECRL project, mooted during the previous administration under Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had generated controversy over its supposed price tag of RM70 billion. The project, spanning 688-kilometres, was expected to link Port Klang to the east coast via Kuantan, Pahang and Pengkalan Kubor in Kelantan.


(File pic) Rural Development Minister Rina Harun said this there are many more projects which could generate employment opportunities, not just the ECRL alone. (NSTP/AIZUDDIN SAAD)

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