East Coast Rail Link and pipeline projects with China cancelled for now says Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad

Two China-backed projects in Malaysia – the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and the construction of two gas pipelines – have been cancelled for now, said Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Mr. Mahathir said after meeting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing he did not believe in the confrontation with any country and stressed the benefits Malaysia stood to gain from increased exposure to Chinese trade, technology, and entrepreneurship.

The projects, comprising a $20 billion East Coast Rail Link and two energy pipelines worth $2.3 billion, had already been suspended pending renegotiation.

“It’s all about pouring in too much money which we cannot afford, we cannot repay and also because we don’t need these projects for Malaysia at this moment,” Mahathir said.

However, details of the cancellation, including matters such as compensation, would have to be discussed later,  he said.