Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (Photo: VNA)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) –
The Malaysian government has not made final decision on the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project invested by China and negotiations are still underway, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on January 29.

The PM told the press that both sides need more time to come up with a solution to this matter.

He added that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng will help with the negotiations and make an announcement later at the end of the negotiations.

The nearly 20-billion-USD railway project again came into spotlight after Malaysia’s Economic Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said on January 26 that the contract with China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) had been canceled.

Minister Lim expressed shock over Azmin’s announcement.

Explaining the disagreement between the two ministers, PM Mahathir said both were present in the government’s meeting on January 24, but the media had interpreted the ministers' statement wrongly that had led to a misunderstanding.

There has not been any decision on the project, the PM confirmed.

In 2017, CCCC won the construction of the 620-km ECRL project connecting Malaysia's underdeveloped East Coast area to Kuala Lumpur and Thailand. 85 percent of the cost of this project was covered by the Export-Import Bank of China.

The project was officially launched in August 2017, but was suspended by the Government of PM Mahathir Mohamad after taking power in May 2018.-VNA