MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Ridiculous to suggest ECRL can break even in 8 years, says Pua


PETALING JAYA: Tony Pua has dismissed the government’s view that the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) will “break even from the operational aspect”, after just eight years of operation.
Referring to the answer from Deputy Finance Minister Othman Aziz in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP said it was wildly ambitious on many counts.
“Firstly, we have to assume that the deputy minister’s ‘break even from the operational aspect’ remark meant that it does not cover the enormous cost of constructing the ECRL, which is covered entirely by debt.
“This means that even if the ECRL is to ‘break even from the operational aspect’, it will still be suffering cashflow losses of some RM3.7 billion annually from the repayments for the loan,” Pua said.
The DAP national publicity secretary also ridiculed Othman’s claim that the government was projecting a revenue of RM2.9 billion to be recorded in 2024.
“That amount is more than four times the current revenue of KTM Berhad today.
“The ridiculous revenue projection is achieved with a fantastical projection of cargo the ECRL will transport.
“As previously mentioned by economist KS Jomo, the ECRL is expecting to carry 60 million tonnes of freight yearly by 2032 even though KTM’s existing freight haulage is only six million tonnes across the entirety of its existing rail network from Padang Besar to Johor Bahru,” Pua said.
He said it was puzzling how the ECRL was expecting to see 10 times the amount of freight currently being transported on the matured and industrialised west coast of Peninsula Malaysia?
Pua called for the government to stop trying to “mislead the people with fanciful daydreams”.
“The Barisan Nasional government must start providing data, analysis and studies to back up its wild and preposterous claims. Also, who will take responsibility if the ECRL fails to achieve anywhere close to the projections above?
“Will the deputy minister take responsibility by resigning from his position, or will it be Prime Minister Najib Razak who owns the ECRL brainchild and who awarded the contract to China Communications and Construction Company (CCCC) without any tender?” he said of the RM55 billion project.
“The rakyat has the right to know the details because it will be our children and grandchildren who will have to bear the reckless debt burden of the current government should the project fail to meet its lofty targets. -FMT

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