KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 6): The Government is not looking to amend the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, and will allow the ongoing construction to continue as planned by the previous administration, according to Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
“The Government’s approach is that for any projects that are already in progress, we will continue with them. For projects that are already started, we have no issues to continue with them in general. We have not go into the details yet, but for the Ministry of Transport, for one major project — the ECRL — there will be continuity,” he told reporters after clocking in here at the ministry on Tuesday (Dec 6).
“I have mentioned, even during the [election] campaign, that in the event we come back to the Government, this project will be continued, because we know that it has gone through many rounds of negotiations. There were changes in terms of the routing. We do not want to make any amendments at this point in time, because the construction has begun. The project is progressing well.
“Yes, sometimes we might not agree with certain decisions, but since it has been reviewed twice — during our time and after that by the previous government — and restarted, I think we will leave it at that,” he added.
Asked whether the current Government will revive the Pakatan Harapan administration’s past effort to merge the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) and Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), Loke said there is no decision at this juncture, but the ministry will relook at options available moving forward.
“We have to relook at the whole thing. We were just at the planning stage at that point in time, and nothing concrete was implemented. We will look into the various options moving forward.
“We will take a more cautious approach. Whatever decision we want to make, there will be more discussions to be held, before we make any further decision. That is something that the prime minister has directed — for all ministers to first listen to briefings by the ministries to understand what are the updates, challenges and issues. We will take it one step at a time,” he said.
Loke said another key issue that he will look at is the operating agreement negotiations with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).
“I have not even gotten the first briefing, so I will get the first briefing later. We will continue to engage and discuss some of the outstanding issues. MAHB is another key issue that I will look into,” he said.
Loke also said he intends to organise a meeting with Prasarana Malaysia Bhd this week to gain a better understanding of the public rail infrastructure before formulating further plans to improve service delivery.
Apart from public infrastructure, Loke said he will also focus on two other aspects in this tenure, namely digitalisation of service delivery and road safety.
“We hope to reduce our reliance on over-the-counter [services], and digitalise some services like licence renewals,” he said.