Transport Minister Anthony Loke has assured that the existing railways in the east coast will be improved following the announcement that the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) will be cancelled.
"The decision regarding ECRL was a cabinet decision, but whatever it is, for east coast passengers, we will improve the existing railways.
"Right now, the east coast already has railways. It is just that they are currently being fixed," Loke said to reporters in Seremban today, adding that services will be improved once repairs are made.
"So even without the ECRL, we give our guarantee to those on the east coast that they will not be abandoned."
Yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced the cancellation of the ECRL and two China-backed gas pipelines projects, attributing compensation for the three projects to the previous administration's "historic stupidity."
Gov't cannot afford AES refunds
On a separate issue, Loke insisted that the government could not afford to refund those who already paid their Automated Enforcement System (AES) summonses.
Though he acknowledged it was unfair, he said the payments were made to the concessionaires – not the government – meaning that the government could not refund them.
"We know it is unfair to those who already paid, but the agreement was unfair in the first place.
"Those who already paid, they have to ask the previous government, why they signed such an agreement whereby those summonses were paid to the concessionaires," he said.
Previously, Loke had announced that the government would write off all unpaid summonses for motorists caught speeding by the AES.
He also revealed that due to a lopsided agreement, the government would not get anything from AES fines paid, after it was discounted to RM150.