KUALA LUMPUR: The construction of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project has reached a progress rate of 25.09 per cent as of Oct 31, a slight delay of the original schedule of 27.55 per cent, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong during the debate on the 2022 Budget said it was due to the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
He said Sections A (Kota Baru – Dungun), B (Dungun – Mentakab) and C1 (Mentakab – Gombak) were expected to be completed on Dec 31, 2026, while Section C2 (Gombak – Pelabuhan Klang) on Dec 31, 2027.
He said ECRL’s northern alignment offered an advantage as a route of choice for logistics in connectivity to industrial hubs, shorter travel time compared with sea transportation, in parallel with highway and includes the Serendah-Klang Port bypass that could address the rail transportation issue from the northern region to the port.
Wee said the federal government was still waiting for the Selangor government’s approval for the revised alignment between Gombak and Serendah that would avoid construction near Batu Dam, Taman Jasa Utama and several villages that could impose high social impact.
He said the ministry conducted 37 engagement sessions involving 17 state departments and agencies and 12 federal agencies since June last year.
“They were held to update technical solution recommendations to address social and environmental issues in Selangor if the ECRL alignment was reverted to its original plan.
“Through the technical solutions, I am confident that the ECRL development will not affect environmental sustainability,” he said in addressing queries from Datuk Seri Najib Razak (BN-Pekan) and Datuk Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar (Independent-Kuala Langat).
On a separate matter, Wee said claims that the Subang Airport (Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport or SAAS) was up for sale were untrue.
He said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) had signed agreements to operate, manage and maintain the assets until 2034 under an operating agreement and held the 60-year lease until 2067.
He, however, said MAHB was allowed to work with the private sector to develop the area and could sublease the site to any individual.
“Any content of discussions or meeting minutes that were exposed (of the alleged sale of Subang Airport) is not conclusive, as a decision could only be made after the matter is brought to Cabinet,” he said in addressing a query from Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Independent-Muar).