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PUTRAJAYA: The true status of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, whether it will be continued or otherwise, will be announced by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, according to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“We wait for Lim Guan Eng’s statement. Be patient all,’’ he said when asked by reporters on the status of the ECRL project after attending a closed briefing with the leaders of statutory bodies in conjunction with the Federal Statutory Bodies’ Highest Management Executives Programme, here today.

Asked whether a decision had been made by the government on the project, Dr Mahathir reiterated that all information on the subject would be clarified by the Finance Minister.

Asked on the contradictory statements issued on the ECRL project prior to this, Dr Mahathir said everybody made mistakes and it was largely seen this way by society.

‘’Sometimes, everybody makes mistakes. Even though we make a small mistake, it appears so big only because we are a new government,’’ he said.

In the meantime, Dr Mahathir also denied the distribution of letters using the government’s letterhead on the project.

‘’Nowadays, everybody can issue a letter using the government’s letterhead ... that is not official,’’ he added.

Lim was reported to have said yesterday that all official statements on the ECRL project would be made this week.

According to Lim, the matter was very sensitive because it involved a contract with the China Communications Construction Group Ltd (CCCC) and numerous other parties.

Minister of Economic Affairs Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, prior to this, was reported to have announced that the government had decided to cancel the ECRL project in a Cabinet meeting last Thursday, and Lim later was reported to be shocked by Azmin’s statement.

In the meantime, Dr Mahathir said the government today said must find a way to tackle the problems of the high cost of living faced by the people in the country.

“We have to know what they are not happy about but they are mostly affected by the high cost of living.

“High cost of living doesn’t mean anything to the rich people but for the poor people it is a big problem,“ he said.

He said these poor people mostly live in the rural areas and the government had to find way to reduce the cost of living and help them to earn a better income. — Bernama