Malaysia Allows Construction to Resume on East Coast Rail Link

May 2020

The Malaysian government has allowed construction work on Malaysia’s biggest mega project, the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) to resume on April 29 as the country entered the fourth phase of the nation-wide movement control order (MCO). The MYR 44 billion (USD 10.12 billion) project was suspended on March 18 as part of the MCO measurements to curb COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

China Communications Construction ECRL (CCC-ECRL) stated that the company has now able to resume work on some of the sites involving tunnels and viaducts. The project has reached a progress rate of 15% on tunnels and viaducts along its route in Terengganu to Pahang state. ECRL project is expected to be fully completed by mid-2026 and operational by early 2027. The 640 km rail link will shorten the journey from Kelantan state to Putrajaya, Malaysia’s administrative center by taking just four hours, from the typical eight to nine hours of travel by car.

On May 2, 2020, the Malaysian International Trade and Industry Ministry has announced that the government will allow majority of the sectors in the economy to resume operations. However, companies must comply with the government’s guidelines on health, hygiene, and safety measures to avoid another wave of infection in the country. The decision was made based on Malaysia’s success in controlling the local COVID-19 outbreak according to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s six benchmarks to reopen an economy post COVID-19 lockdown.

(Sources: Strait Times; New Straits Times)

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