PUTRAJAYA (May 30): The government is scrapping the third mass rapid transit line (MRT3) project, which is estimated to cost up to RM40 billion to build, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

"The MRT3 project will be discontinued," he told reporters, after chairing the second weekly Cabinet meeting here today.

This follows the decision to scrap the RM110 billion, 350km-long Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail (HSR) project last week, as part of cuts to help reduce the government's total debt which exceeds RM1 trillion.

Dr Mahathir had said the HSR project is "unnecessary and will not earn the country a single sen".

On the 600km-long East Coast Rail Line (ECRL), another mega project involving RM55 billion that will be built by China Railway Construction Corp, Dr Mahathir said: "The project has not been cancelled as yet. We are still studying this matter."

Under Budget 2018, the construction of MRT3 had been moved forward to 2025, two years ahead of the original 2027. It was previously reported that the project is expected to span a total of 40km and will cover hotspots in the city centre that include Ampang Jaya, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Jalan Bukit Bintang, the Tun Razak Exchange, Bandar Malaysia, KL Eco City, Pusat Bandar Damansara, Mont'Kiara and Sentul. — theedgemarkets.com

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