Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak

PETALING JAYA (April 11): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pictured) said the East Coast Railway Line (ECRL) demonstrates the government determination to introduce major changes in Kelantan and the east coast states of Peninsular Malaysia.

"If we want a particular region to develop we must link the region to all areas in the country.

“Transportation that links one region to the other areas will bring very significant changes,” Najib said at the ground breaking ceremony for the ECRL project at the Kelantan state level in Tunjong, Bernama reported today.

The RM55 billion ECRL mega project involves the construction of a 688km long route linking Port Klang, Selangor with Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.

There will be 28 stations along the route with passenger and cargo services. The ECRL is expected to be ready by June 2024.

"In the US, the west side area had developed because of the availability of railway communication, and so were the wild west or cowboy areas such as the ones in California and so on because the pioneers were railway communication.

"The same was also true in the other areas in the world, where efficient railway services that were modern and dependable had been injected in the development of a particular region,” Bernama reported Najib as saying.

He also said that the ECRL would speed up travelling time between Kota Bharu and Kuala Lumpur.

"If the journey from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu previously took eight hours, after the completion of the ECRL later the journey will only take four hours at the speed of 160 km per hour,” he said explained.

Najib also criticised certain groups who wanted to scrap the ECRL project.

He said it would certainly “be to the detriment of Malaysians, especially the workers, sub-contractors and others involved” if the project is stopped Bernama reported.

Pakatan Harapan chairman and ex-PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad recently said that the opposition pact will review the ECRL project if they come into power after GE14.

“We will review the ECRL project, whether or not it is necessary. If it is not, then we will stop it where it has already been built,” said Dr Mahathir.

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