Worldwide

Malaysia Suspends Three China-Backed Infrastructure Projects

Malaysia Suspends Three China-Backed Infrastructure Projects”

Officials from Malaysia and China are in talks for Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to visit Beijing soon, two sources told Reuters, after Kuala Lumpur suspended China-backed projects worth more than US$20 billion (S$27 billion).

Global Construction Review reported that China's infrastructure diplomacy in Malaysia took a hit today when its government declared that the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), which is being funded and built by Chinese entities, can only be viable with a "drastic" price reduction by the Chinese contractor involved.

China Communications Construction Co Ltd said late on Thursday it halted all work at the request of the project owner Malaysia Rail Link SDN BHD.

A flagship scheme of China's Belt and Road Initiative, the 688km East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) had been meant to connect Malaysia's west coast to rural northeastern states with 23 stations, and was initiated under the previous government of Najib Razak, who was this week charged with corruption.

He says he will raise the issue of the unfair terms of the Chinese contracts and Chinese loan.

The ECRL project came under criticism in recent times following the change of the Malaysian government in May.

A Malaysian Foreign Ministry source said both sides had yet to finalise dates, but Dr Mahathir was "looking forward to visiting China".

"Normally governments borrow at 3.0 percent and below, but this one is very high", he said.

The suspension came just a day after Malaysia Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng called for a sharp price reduction to the 428-mile East Coast Rail Link, after discovering that the project's actual cost is $20 billion (81 billion ringgit), almost 50 percent higher than what was estimated by the previous government.

The rail link connects Malaysia's west coast to rural eastern states and is largely financed by China.

He said the Najib government had paid about $2 billion, or 88 percent of the total value of the projects, despite being less than 15 percent complete.

Concerned over the country's finances, one of Mahathir's first acts was to scrap the $27.6bn high-speed railway between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which had been in the advanced planning stage.

Mahathir has ordered a review of mega-projects signed by Najib during his nine-year term in a bid to cut the country's national debt, estimated at $250 billion, and other liabilities.

Mr. Najib had been defeated in the May 9 elections and was charged with corruption over the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) fund on July 4, 2018.

Lim said a report on the pipeline scandal would be filed with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, adding that he would "seek the assistance of the China government to help trace the flow of funds in China, in order to investigate the possibility of money laundering".



Like this

loading...
loading...

Latest


07 July 2018
Danilo ruled out for the rest of the World Cup
The FIFA World Cup 2018 round of 16 was packed with exciting fixtures, shock defeats and had more than its fair share of drama. This meant that for every C-Note wagered we got $610 in return on one of the most uniquely talented teams in the competition.

07 July 2018
Retaliatory Measures Against US Tariffs Already In Effect, Says China
Officials said 545 USA products, including agricultural products and vehicles , will be hit by retaliatory tariffs . The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.4 percent by 0859 GMT, while Germany's exporter-heavy DAX .

06 July 2018
Maradona's freaky World Cup continues with Federation Internationale de Football Association rebuke
Again upsetting the odds, Sweden edged out Italy 1-0 over the two-legged play-off to secure their place in Russian Federation . England couldn't find a way in, Colombia played how it could, with what it had, without James, without a creator.

06 July 2018
What’s Going On With The MoviePass Surge Prices
By keeping the $10-a-month plan as its base offering, MoviePass said its customers "still get the best deal possible". MoviePass recently passed 3 million subscribers, and is trying to draw in more as part of its plan to stay afloat.

06 July 2018
Meghan Markle goes for power yellow at latest royal engagement
For her first royal engagement as the Duchess of Sussex , Meghan's tights were very noticeable beneath her sheer Goat dress. It's the first time Meghan has worn a bright colour on an engagement with Harry since their marriage in May.

06 July 2018
Stop pretending to be Uruguayan: Suarez to Griezmann
Cavani, the main striker for Uruguay has scored three goals and is one of the top 5 contenders for the golden boot. As well as Mbappe, Uruguay will have another tricky French forward, Antoine Griezmann , to contend with.

06 July 2018
Dutch Prime Minister Not Playing Trump's Game
Prime Minister Rutte responded with a very loud "NO!" when Trump made that remark, which shocked the President beyond recognition. President Trump then warned, "We're not planning anything now, but if they don't treat us properly, we will be doing something".

06 July 2018
Beryl becomes the first hurricane this season
Beryl strengthened into the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season east of the Lesser Antilles early Friday. Forecasters say the storm will likely maintain its hurricane status as it approaches and crosses the islands.

06 July 2018
Associated Press Trump pressed aides on Venezuela invasion, US official says
But shortly afterward, he raised the issue with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos , according to the USA official. Venezuelans have also been fleeing to countries including Brazil, Colombia, Chile, the USA , and Spain.

07 March 2018
Great mobile phone for under 200$ - Umidigi S2
As per the manufacturer claims, this phone has a standby time of 6 days when fully charged and comes with a talk time of 30 hours. In the back, Umidigi S2 has a high-security fingerprint scanner (unlocks the device in just 0.1 to 0.3 seconds).