Sabah gov't welcomes cancellation of costly TSGP: Shafie

Avila Geraldine

SEMPORNA: The Sabah government approves of the recent axing of the Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) project by the federal government, in view of the country’s current financial situation.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the state government welcomed Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s announcement yesterday that the TSGP would not be beneficial to the people.

“In view of the high debt faced by the country, we understand that the project is not our priority at this moment.

“Perhaps, we could implement it in the future, if circumstances allow.

“Our finances are very limited and (so we agree) with the decision made by the central government and have no objection, even though (the move) may affect businesses and job opportunities,” he told reporters after an event here today.

Shafie, who is also Semporna Member of Parliament, said that Malaysia needs to focus on reducing its expenses, which includes shelving major, non-essential infrastructure projects.

In addition to the TSGP, Dr Mahathir also announced the cancellation of the multi-billion ringgit East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) during his recently-concluded official visit to China.

The federal government’s decision on the two Chinese government-backed projects were directly conveyed by Dr Mahathir to Chinese President Xi Jinping and premier Li Keqiang.

According to a Bernama report, Dr Mahathir said the projects involve huge amounts of money and Malaysia does not need them at the moment

The RM81 billion ECRL project, spanning 688km from Port Klang to Kota Baru, was launched last year and was slated for completion in 2024; while the RM4 billion TSGP involves the construction of a 662km gas pipeline from Kimanis to Sandakan and Tawau.

Both projects have been suspended since July. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd