Sunday, 6 May 2018

MALAYSIA: Chinese Tourists May Sieze If East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) Is Scrapped

BN leader Najib Abdul Razak has warned that if the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) is ever scrapped, then China will take punitive actions against Malaysia.

At an election campaign stop in Kuala Berang, Terengganu, today, Najib said the ECRL contractor, the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), is fully-owned by the Chinese government.

The opposition said that if they are in power, they want to cancel ECRL.

CCCC is 100 percent owned by the Chinese government.

If the project is cancelled, China will stop sending tourists to Malaysia.

Duty-free shops in Kenyir will be empty.

The restaurant owners will be wiping tables every day with no customers.

Ini bukan main-main, kawan-kawan said this is not a joke, my friends, the caretaker prime minister added.

Najib then recalled how a spat between South Korea and China last year had resulted in the latter banning package tours to Jeju island.

Chinese tourists reportedly once accounted for 80 percent of the visitors to Jeju.

The island is now reportedly deserted after the spat.

Consider the possibility of palm oil boycott.

Najib also urged his audience to consider the possibility of palm oil boycott by China.

They are our biggest customers for palm oil. If they don't want our palm oil, Felda will have to fold.

This is what is happening now. If we don't have clear policies, we are done for, he said.

Kuala Berang is a state constituency and a town near Lake Kenyir, which is part of the Hulu Terengganu parliamentary constituency.

Najib said although the ECRL does not run through the constituencies, the state will benefit, particularly from the 80,000 in total jobs that the project would offer.

Opposition leaders and economists have questioned the need and viability of the RM55 billion project, the most ambitious and expensive public infrastructure project ever, which is funded with soft loans from China.

Pakatan Harapan has promised to review the ECRL project, among other mega projects undertaken by the Najib administration.

Once completed in 2024, the ECRL will link Tumpat with Kuantan and Port Klang.

Tourism Observer
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