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            june 20, 2019

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China offers to halve Malaysia rail project cost


China has offered to nearly halve the cost of a US$20 billion rail project in Malaysia to save it, Bloomberg reported quoting a Reuters report, which cited unidentified people familiar with the matter.
According to Reuters the contractor for the East Coast Railway Link, Communications Construction Co Ltd, had offered to cut construction costs of MYR67 billion ($16.4 billion) for the 428-mile project by as much as half. Contradictory remarks by Malaysian ministers over the past week on the status of the project leave the outcome uncertain, Reuters said.
Malaysia's Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said it will terminate the project as it was beyond the government's financial capability. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng wouldn't corroborate those comments, saying an official announcement would be issued, if necessary, on the instructions of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. The premier said later that the government's reason for cancelling the rail was a lack of funds.

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