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Friday, June 9, 2017

Perkasa wants gov't to explain ECRL's RM55b China funding

Malay right-wing group Perkasa today urged the government to explain the financing of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, which has an estimated cost of RM55 billion.
Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali said an academic study in Singapore has concluded that the ECRL project is not funded by China foreign direct investment (FDI), though it was reported that the contract had been awarded to China Communication Construction Company Ltd (CCCC).
"Instead, this RM55 billion fund for the ECRL project is a '20-year scheduled loan obtained from Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China," he said in a statement today.
Ibrahim said the study also said that China's role in the ECRL project is not as a foreign direct investor, but as a contractor and financier who thinks of this project as an export of service from China to Malaysia.
"The important question and problem here is, is the funding for the ECRL project a foreign direct investment from China, or is it just a loan from Exim Bank which belongs to the Chinese government?
"If it is just a capital loan from China, the Malaysian government needs to explain why and how the contract for the project must be given to a Chinese government-owned company?" he asked.
The Singaporean study had also said that the burden of cost for the ECRL project, which is nearly eight percent of the country's current public debt, is shouldered by the Malaysian government, he said.
This means that Malaysia's financial situation could become weakened, he said, if the ECRL project fails to generate enough returns to service the capital loan and debt from Exim Bank.
Perkasa also urged the government to look into the credibility of this study as well as provide a detailed and immediate explanation on the RM55 billion allocated to the project.

"Besides that, are the opposition's claims true, that the ECRL project does not need RM55 billion, but is estimated to only cost RM30 billion?" Ibrahim asked.
He also suggested that relevant authorities such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigate the ECRL project's funding immediately.
This is to uphold the principle of good governance and to preserve the government's integrity, he said.- Mkini

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