GEORGE TOWN: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng reiterated today that an official statement pertaining to the status of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project will only be made next week.
He said that all parties must exercise caution in discussing the issue which is deemed “sensitive” as it involves a contract with China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC) and other parties.
When asked if the upcoming official statement would be any different from the announcement made by Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali on Saturday, Lim kept mum.
“We have to wait, as this involves contracts and other matters, so let us wait for the written statement.
“The announcement should be next week. What I said prior to this was only referring to the timing and not the content mentioned by Azmin,” he said when met here, today.
Yesterday, Lim was reportedly shocked when Azmin made a statement on his own accord on the status of the ECRL project.
Implying that the Economic Affairs Minister may have been inaccurate, Lim said that Azmin may not have been updated on a decision made by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Cabinet on Thursday.
Azmin announced that the government had decided to cancel the RM81 billion ECRL project with contractor CCCC.
He said the decision was taken as the country cannot afford the high rate of interest linked to the project.
Meanwhile, Lim said that the first phase of the Cost of Living Aid (BSH) 2019 will be disbursed tomorrow, and will be credited to the respective back accounts of recipients.
He said that the payment is being made based on an old database.
“The recipients do not have to update anything. But for the future, they might have to re-register to ensure that only those who are eligible for the aid receive it,” he added.