QUESTION TIME | While the new deal with China to resume the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) for RM44 billion has been hailed by many as a major achievement providing savings of RM21.5 billion, the truth is it’s a cowardly, controversial, costly capitulation to China, which may cost the country several times the 1MDB losses of more than RM30 billion.
China, through state-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), signed a contract to build the original ECRL for RM55 billion in August 2017.
My calculations indicate that for this inviable project (as I pointed out last week using a cost of RM36 billion) to continue, a further RM34 billion cash injection has to be made incrementally, with the possibility of some RM30 billion in operating losses, before taking into account cost escalations and other costs such as land acquisition and rolling stock. Taking these into consideration may well push total costs above RM100 billion.
So bad is the deal for Malaysia that one wonders how the negotiators could have agreed to such terms knowing full well that China participated in a well-orchestrated plan to rob our country of some RM30 billion to pay for that huge hole of a corresponding amount in 1MDB caused by theft.
We are not even getting Jho Low, the co-conspirator with Najib Razak of the 1MDB theft and the one who, by some accounts, brought the rescue deal to China, back to stand trial here...