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Prime Minister and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (right) with Home Minister and Bersatu’s president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during a press conference ater chairing the party’s Supreme Council meeting in Menara Yayasan Selangor. - NSTP/MOHD KHAIRUL HELMY MOHD DIN

PETALING JAYA: The controversial East Coast Railway Link (ECRL) mega project has yet to be scrapped, pending negotiations with relevant parties.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told a media conference today that the negotiations would be facilitated by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

"We have yet to reach a decision on the matter. We need to give time to the relevant parties to come up with a solution to the issue.

"I am in no position to provide the details. There may be a number of negotiations, several people have been tasked with looking into the matter.

"Lim Guan Eng will make an announcement later at the end of the negotiations," Dr Mahathir said.

The RM81 billion ECRL project came into spotlight again after Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali confirmed that its contract with China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) had been annulled.

In response, Lim expressed shock over the revelation, saying that he was concerned with the timing of the announcement.

On the apparent disagreement between Lim and Azmin, Dr Mahathir said the media did not report the matter accurately and that had led to a misunderstanding.

"What happened was that, both (Lim and Azmin) were right. But the timing of the announcement (by Azmin) was off.

"Both were present in the cabinet meeting discuss on the matter (ECRL). But the media did not report accurately and stressed upon other things, and not the preservation of ties with China.

"The media had interpreted the ministers' statement wrongly. I had asked them, and they denied saying as such.

"There has not been any decision on ECRL. Yes, we reached a decision back then, but now there are changes.

"We often evaluate the costs. There have been offers from several interested parties (to carry out the project). I believe that the previous government had made high projections about the project."

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