SHAH ALAM: Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali attended the Cabinet meeting on Thursday.
Azmin’s officer, who declined to be named, confirmed this via a Whatsapp message to reporters when asked whether Azmin had attended the cabinet meeting which was chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"Greetings everyone...since you have been asking, I can confirm that Datuk Seri Azmin attended the cabinet meeting on Thursday.”
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had earlier today said he was shocked by Azmin’s announcement on the status of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.
Speaking at a press conference here hours after Azmin’s announcement on the cancellation of the project, Lim initially said Azmin was not in the last Cabinet meeting.
However, he then clarified on Azmin’s attendance at the cabinet meeting by saying:
“Sorry, I wouldn’t say that Azmin wasn’t in the cabinet meeting.
“What I meant is that he wasn’t privy to the decision made by Tun.
“Anyway a statement will be issued subject to the instruction by Tun.”
Asked to confirm whether Azmin had attended the cabinet meeting, Lim said:
“I don’t want to say that as it may lead to all kind of unhealthy perception.
“All I want to say is that maybe he was not informed of the prime minister’s intention.”
Lim’s statement came after Azmin announced that the government has decided to cancel the RM81 billion ECRL project with contractor China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC).
Azmin said the decision was taken as the country could not afford the high interest linked to the project.
He said the cabinet decided to scrap the project during its meeting on Thursday.
“This is the final decision.
"It was decided that the cost to develop ECRL is too high, and we don’t have the financial capability to see it through at this moment.
“If this project is not cancelled, the interest that the government would have to pay reaches nearly half a billion ringgit,” he said.