Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) wish to express its concern and disappointment with recent media statements by the Selangor Executive Councillor for Infrastructure & Public Amenities YB Ir. Izham Hashim on the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) proposed re-alignment.
In reports published online late Wednesday, 24 March 2021, YB Izhar Hashim had announced that Selangor supports the ECRL project but is adamant on defending its stand for the rail network to traverse via a southern route across Negeri Sembilan and Putrajaya as opposed to the northern route via Gombak and Serendah announced by the Minister of Transport recently.
The statement made by the Executive Councillor was a real letdown especially after MRL as the project owner had made countless engagements with the Selangor State Government and its agencies in the past 8 months from June 2020 until February this year on the plan to revert to the original alignment for the ECRL project. MRL has briefed all relevant state agencies in Selangor on the many advantages of reverting to the original alignment and original project scope which also includes a rail bypass line from Serendah to Port Klang for KTMB. In fact, engagements have received constructive feedbacks from the Selangor State Government’s technical departments and agencies.
MRL has also addressed all issues raised by the various state agencies in the reversion to the ECRL original alignment, and have provided solutions and mitigations involving environmental protection, minimizing social impact and improving rail connectivity among others. For example, MRL has presented a definitive solution to the issue of safeguarding the Gombak Quartz Ridge by designing an alignment that traverse through an existing road for ECRL to cross the quartz ridge.
Encroachment into the quartz ridge by ECRL is now a non-issue. MRL was also led to believe that our meetings and engagements with the various state agencies were fruitful and in our opinion presented a better option to establish the most efficient national rail system integrating both ECRL and KTMB while minimizing any environmental and social impacts towards the people.
As such, MRL is shocked that the Executive Council (EXCO) of Selangor has brushed aside convincing details that MRL have furnished be it to the various state agencies or the Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) on the clear advantages of the ECRL original alignment. The decision by the EXCO will only further delay the construction of ECRL’s Section C (Mentakab-Port Klang) and potentially delay the scheduled overall completion of the project by December 2026.
Hence, MRL wishes for the EXCO of Selangor to reconsider its decision in view of the advantages to complete the ECRL via the northern alignment and in view of the solutions and mitigation plans that has been put in place to address all of the concerns on environmental and social impact of the project execution and operations.
MRL would like to reiterate that the construction of the ECRL is of National interest and not for the benefit of any State in particular. It is envisioned as a game changer and catalyst for socio-economic growth that narrows the economic inequality between the West Coast and East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Released by the Corporate Communications Department of Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd. For further information, please contact: Rosmah Mahmud at (03-6411 5800 ext. 5830 / [email protected]) or Yong Min Wei at (03-6411 5800 ext. 5835 / [email protected]).