PUTRAJAYA, April 15 (Bernama) — Malaysia is taking advantage of the signing of the East Coast Rail Link’s (ECRL) Supplementary Agreement (SA) to work out a purchase of palm oil from China, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The prime minister was asked if the agreement with China involves an exchange of deals such as palm oil exports and investments.
“This is not directly related, (but) we are taking advantage of the signing of the agreement to work out a purchase of palm oil from China.
“That will happen,” he told a press conference here today.
Earlier, it was reported that the ECRL negotiation package would include China’s commitment to buy more palm oil from Malaysia, as well as to direct more Chinese investments into Malaysia.
On April 12, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd and China Communications Construction Company Ltd signed the SA to pave the way for the resumption of the suspended project.
Under the new deal, the construction cost for Phases 1 and 2 of the ECRL would resume at a price of RM44 billion, a reduction of RM21.5 billion from its original cost of RM65.5 billion.
The new alignment would also see a total length of 640km from the original length of 688km, or eight km shorter than the 648km announced earlier.
On the ECRL’s ticket prices, Dr Mahathir said the details had not been worked out yet.
“But we will have some say in determining the operation online, including determining the ticket prices,” he added.