KUALA LUMPUR: A total of RM20.37 billion has been paid to China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) for the implementation of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) until July 13 this year.

The Ministry of Transport said the payment were for preliminary works such as soil investigation, survey work, design, consultancy fees and independent checking engineer.

“Besides that, the payment for civil works has also been made such as tunnelling, site clearance and land improvement,” said the ministry in a written reply to a question from Wong Chen (PH-Subang) in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Wong Chen asked on the amount and to whom payment was made relating to the ECRL project before its delay after the 14th General Election as well as after it was reviewed and revived.

According to the ministry, all payments made would be taken into consideration in the ceiling cost determined by the government after the ECRL project alignment is finalised and subject to validation in the final account.

After the ECRL project was suspended on July 3, 2018 until April 12, 2019, renegotiations with the People’s Republic of China had been carried out by the Pakatan Harapan government and led by Tun Daim Zainuddin, as the prime minister’s special envoy.

The ECRL project, estimated to cost RM44 billion, is owned by Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Minister of Finance Incorporated. CCCC was appointed as the main contractor of the project. — Bernama