The East Coast Rail Project: It Costs How Much Exactly?
Just two days ago Rafizi, Kian Ming, Dr Hatta and I did a press conference on the East Coast Rail RM55 billion project. We agreed to form a Pakatan Harapan committee to look into the matter and our first meeting is scheduled for this coming Tuesday in Parliament.
This morning, it looks like The Edge beat us to the punch by stating that this project could be the costliest project of its class ever in the world. Malaysia boleh again! The report suggests a fair estimated cost of RM30 billion. Does this mean a massive markup of RM25 billion is on the cards? Is this markup made to cover the 1MDB’s IPIC debt (which was stolen) as alleged by Sarawak Report?
Ironically, China has been running a massive anti-corruption drive themselves. But this deal clearly stinks to high heaven. Why is the China government willing to be an enabler? Is gaining geopolitical influence at all costs, the mantra of China’s OBOR foreign policy? Isn’t it enough that the 1MDB has ensnared Obama in a scandal over the Kedah solar plant where Obama’s chief fundraiser Frank White Junior (also related to Michelle Obama) got paid RM300 million for doing almost no work? Now, 1MDB is going to suck in China’s top leadership into its toxic orbit too over this train deal?
I wonder when will world leaders learn that the best form of engagement is basically no engagement with the Najib administration?