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Malaysian PM Mahathir says China-backed rail, pipeline projects cancelled for now - reports

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Malaysian PM Mahathir says China-backed rail, pipeline projects cancelled for now - reports

Malaysian PM Mahathir says China-backed rail, pipeline projects cancelled for now - reports
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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday that the Chinese-funded $20 billion (15.68 billion pounds)East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project and a natural gas pipeline project in Sabah will be cancelled for now, according to media reports.

Mahathir made the comments while addressing the media in Beijing during his five-day trip to China. He said the projects would be cancelled until such time as Malaysia can afford it.

The Prime Minister's office confirmed the comments Mahathir made to reporters in Beijing.

Mahathir said he relayed the matter to China and they understood the problems faced by Malaysia, the New Straits Times (NST) reported.

"I believe China itself does not want to see Malaysia become a bankrupt country,” the NST quoted him as saying during a press conference marking the end of his China trip.

(Reporting by Liz Lee and Rozanna Latiff; writing by Praveen Menon; editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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