Malaysia's Mahathir to visit China for talks on projects

06 Juillet, 2018, 20:54 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Malaysia's Mahathir to visit China for talks on projects

The main Chinese contractor of the East Coast Railway Link received instructions from the project owner yesterday that it is to suspend all works.

"The decisions are exclusively directed towards the related contractors, relating to the provisions mentioned in the agreements, and not at any particular country", Malaysia's finance ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Malaysia's new government has axed a high-speed rail line to Singapore because it is too costly and is reviewing other large infrastructure projects financed by China.

"And the interest also is of concern to us, because the interest is much higher than when governments borrow". Twenty-three stations were planned, starting at Port Klang on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia, near Kuala Lumpur, and ending at Kelantan in the northeast, near the Thai border.

Najib courted billions of dollars of Chinese investment and was one of Southeast Asia's most enthusiastic supporters of President Xi Jinping's signature Belt and Road Initiative.

Najib was charged Wednesday for criminal breach of trust and corruption arising from investigations into alleged graft at the 1MDB state investment fund.

Malaysian and Chinese officials are in talks for Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to visit Beijing soon, two sources with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters, after Kuala Lumpur suspended China-backed projects worth more than $20 billion.

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It was replaced by Mahathir's government following a May 9 election upset.

"The terms are very damaging to our economy", he said at the time. Weeks later, Mahathir said that his government would review the bullet-train project.

The finance ministry official said ECRL and the two pipeline projects were suspended pending high-level talks with China to renegotiate the terms of the projects.

"So we can't accuse Saudi Arabia, unless of course, there is proof that Saudi Arabia has tried to interfere in Malaysian politics", Dr Mahathir was quoted saying. It said no duration was given for the suspension and that it could spark additional costs, losses and damages.

Finance minister Lim Guan Eng said he had ordered the suspension of two pipeline deals and a 688-kilometre rail link worth a combined 90.4 billion ringgit ($22.35 billion).

The China Petroleum Co.is the firm contracted for the pipeline projects.

Lim said the two gas pipeline projects were worth 11.1 billion ringgit ($2.7 billion), almost 20 percent more than an earlier estimate.

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