KUALA LUMPUR (June 2): There are some in Malaysia who feel that the halting of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) mega project should have been made only after the Cabinet had decided on the matter.
“While we support the new Government’s efforts to review potentially wasteful projects and lopsided deals, such decisions should have followed due process,” the Star Online reported Centre for a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) co-president Gan Ping Sieu as saying in a press statement.
He said as "a matter of good governance, the announcement should have come only after a Cabinet decision".
“Rightfully, cancelling a project of such magnitude, involving transnational interests, ought to go through a more structured decision-making process.
“This includes preparing a Cabinet paper and getting feedback from all relevant agencies and state governments,” Gan explained.
“The Constitution is clear that the Cabinet is the highest executive body. The manner in which the announcement was made runs counter to the spirit of accountability and transparency pledged by the new Federal Government,” he added
“If decisions on an RM110bil mega project can be made without stringent due process, we are worried this can set a precedent in deciding other government projects.”
It was reported by the media that Transport Minister Anthony Loke revealed the HSR scrapping was not brought up at the Cabinet prior to the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s May 28 announcement of the mega project's demise.