It has been a good while since we heard about the controversial megaproject, East Coast Rail Link (ECRL).
According to the graph, talks on the project had slowed down in the media since September last year until recently when the topic quickly became the talk of town once again, peaking at 291 news in January 2019 from only 20 news in December the previous year.
News started circulating on Friday (25 January) last week when Minister of Economic Affairs, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali announced that the government had cancelled the ECRL project with China Communication Construction Company Ltd (CCCC). This has caught many by surprise.
However, more interestingly, it seems like not everyone ‘in’ the government is aware of this; which gave the perception that the decision was one that is not made unanimously.
If we are looking into the influencers over the issue, Azmin Ali take the first spot in the recent month. However, he was not much the influencer for the issues over a long period. Since Pakatan Harapan take over the government, Mahathir and the Lim Guan Eng did most of the talking.
On the same day, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself said he was unaware with the cancellation of the project made by Azmin. Besides Tun Mahathir, other top brass was also taken aback by the announcement. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah both express surprise to the decision.
The contradictory statements between them shows that the coalition are not communication well with each other and it would be the biggest challenge in the future.