The following articles are very heartening because x-PM Najib though is suffering a technical "knocked out" at G14 manages to crawl back with superb common sense arguments pertaining to foreign investments and needy expertise in his country to benefit Malaysian rakyat in a grand way; not "micky mouse size" but a RM55B ECRL package.
1. To open up and do it is a priority otherwise M93's vision of a "developed nation status" comes with new car ventures shall become an air-choked and micky-mouse under-nourished nation.
2. Petronas has a huge reserve exceeding RM170B ( “The cash reserve of Petronas had reached RM170 billion prior to the 14th general election,” he added. ) which is able to finance the project incrementally over a few years without any issue. The Malaysian rakyat will win economically and expertise earned as well as learned. This will be able to harmonize the diversity of ethnical societies and Malaysians when works, jobs and businesses are abundant thus becoming a new priority in Malaysia. Then, a developed nation dream first among the ASEAN shall come about with lesser efforts and regional challenges.
How could a nation spending on major projects lose its sovereign lands to foreign investors?
By Hidir Reduan
August 9, 2017 @ 5:14pm
KUANTAN: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today lambasted critics of the RM55 billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) that would impart a positive impact on the lives of all Malaysians.
Najib expressed regret that there were certain quarters still attempting to torpedo the ECRL project, that would encompass 23 stations from the Integrated Transport Terminal (ITT) in Gombak, Selangor, to Pengkalan Kubur, Kelantan.
In the past, some opposition leaders had claimed that the ECRL project would lead to the sell-off of Malaysian interests in the country and burden the next generation.
By Veena Babulal - January 2, 2019 @ 6:56pm
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has questioned the government’s claim that the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project would be a waste of public funds.
While clapping back at his successor and former mentor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he said “poor” people in the East Coast deserve proper public transport system.
“Yes, there may not be many people who would use the ECRL and most of its passengers are “poor” and do not do big business like at the West Coast railway so the government may not make large returns as Pakatan Harapam claims.
“(But) this is only a probability, not an actuality. These “poor people” and the East Coast also deserve a modern, safe and fast public transport system. They too deserve to be given a chance to develop and enjoy the rapid economic growth,” he said on his Facebook account here today.
Najib said while PH had stressed that the project was not profitable, it had yet to reveal the feasibility studies that the former Umno president has called for time and again. It has remained unanswered.
“Apart from cargo and ticket sales, what is the economic spillover which would contribute to the Gross Domestic Product and what will be the revenue from transport oriented development in areas around stations at the respective states,” added Najib.
Najib also said he was not convinced that Putrajaya lacked the financial capacity to proceed with the project.
“But if they could ‘rob’ Petronas of RM82 billion for this year and next year, definitely they could afford to pay ECRL, priced at RM55 billion or RM81 billion,” he claimed while pointing out the discrepancy in the figures quoted.
“The cash reserve of Petronas had reached RM170 billion prior to the 14th general election,” he added.
Petronas is slated to fork out RM30 billion in special dividends in 2019 in addition to the annual dividend paid to the government. It will be utilised to fully settle the outstanding tax refunds estimated at RM37 billion — RM18 billion in income tax and RM19 billion in goods and services tax.
Najib argued that if the government was willing to lose at least RM25 billion tax revenue annually by reverting to the sales and service tax (SST), then it could afford the ECRL.
“The cost of ECRL is definitely easier to repay in three or four years merely from the shortfall of (moving from) GST to SST,” he said.
In an earlier interview with a Chinese daily, Dr Mahathir deemed the project a waste of money as it would incur RM55 billion in debts and the government could not get any returns from the project as there was no way for it to tax the concessionaire.
He drew on the West Coast railway line which he claimed the government gained no profit from despite its heavy use and argued that along the ECRL alignment, there were “fewer people and the people are mostly poor - not doing big business like the people along the West Coast railway line - so you cannot get your investment back”.
Short-sighted vision questionable:
Getting investments back does not depend on this ECRL mega transportation system alone ( whereas, a break even scenario is the warranted expectation of the rakyat ); whereas, ECRL project is an actual means to provide new routes, new businesses and communal facilities. When this is in order, operating and running the spirits of the Malaysian rakyat will definitely jump on the moving wagons to conduct businesses of all dimensions. Not forgetting that there is a cluster of at least 23 stations along the line of travel which translates to major economic expansions and modernization in the rural areas of Malaysia to equal / match opportunities and the standards of livings of those on the western parts of the country: can YOU imagine how busy the rakyat will become trying hard to equalize and/or do better among all rakyat ?
A dream is always a dream but must be working efficiently among the rakyat to produce more dreams for the next generations to live on !
ECRL is a major Malaysian " natural good effect " project which will enrich the local cultural and monetary impacts upon its people of all races. For once, those kumpung folks will be able to ride affordably across the entire Malaysian peninsula for any useful purpose or aim and desires similar to their wealthier " peers, brothers and sisters " of the western parts of Malaysia. This is the actual and meaningful aspiration and expectation of Malaysians !
However, certain quarters such as "so-called educated folks of NGOs " had expressed concerns about debt burdens and so forth which are unfounded and baseless. They probably had never seen nor experienced poverty in their early ages. The expansions of trade flows between the two parts of Malaysia ( i.e. East to West ) have been restricted for decades due to ignorance ( " boilh-cukup-la " ) . People need to evaluate and weigh the futuristic developments of a nation in order to be prosperous and growing; while physical facilities for people to people to meet and operate are the best single answer. Internets play only the second most important part / role of national and international communications.
Latest development makes very good sense to both nations by adopting BRI strategic advantages for the sake of people, especially to focus on works or jobs and business opportunities. Tun Daim is a bright loyalist with sharp foresight remarked :
In an interview on TV3’s prime-time “Buletin Utama” programme, Daim said the project would have new commercial elements that would have a greater impact on Malaysian companies and people.
News reports had previously suggested that the current renegotiation on the ECRL could see its construction price pegged at RM50 million to RM60 million per km, as well as a commitment by the Chinese government to buy Malaysian palm oil and bring in projects.
The key point and the true reason is that the elder and second time PM Mahathir doesn't like to live in the shadow of PRC. This old guy often makes himself different from the ordinary after eating too much Tonga herbs.