ECRL, Pipeline Projects Nixed

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China’s President Xi Jinping agrees with Malaysia’s stand.

The East Coast Rail Link and the projects for the construction of two gas pipelines have been cancelled, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Prime Minister said the projects could not go on due to Malaysia’s financial woes.

However, details of the cancellation would have to be discussed later, he said.

The negotiation of compensation and other issues will be handled by government officials and the Chinese companies involved, the prime minister added.

Dr Mahathir said this at a press conference before ending his five-day visit to China on Tuesday (Aug 21).

“China understands our problem and agreed,” he said.

“I explained to them the projects will not go on because we do not need these and our priority is to reduce debt.

Reuters

“They (China’s leaders) see our point our view,” Dr Mahathir said.

“The projects will not go on. At the moment, the priority is reducing our debt…it will be deferred until such time when we can afford, then maybe we will reduce the cost,”  the South China Morning Post quoted Dr Mahathir as saying before his departure for Kuala Lumpur.

“If we have to pay compensation, we have to pay. This is the stupidity of the negotiations before. We must find a way to exit these projects …this is our own people’s stupidity.” 

Dr Mahathir also said any anxiousness China felt about his takeover from the Beijing-friendly Najib would have dissipated with his visit.

“They did not understand what I was doing. I had to explain myself,” he was quoted as saying.