In a development that has direct consequences for the tourism sector, Malaysia is set to review the implementation of planned infrastructure mega projects, in light of the recent change in administration. Projects in question include the high-speed rail line to Singapore, along with a US$14 billion rail project intended to connect the country’s east and west coasts.
This latest development was reported by state news agency Bernama, who named Malaysia’s economic affairs minister as their source. According to Bernama, Malaysia’s new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has vowed to review a number of projects approved by his predecessors, including the East Coast Rail Line – a 55 billion ringgit (S$18.5 billion) rail project that will link Malaysia’s east coast on the South China Sea to Kuala Lumpur and the strategic shipping routes of the Strait of Malacca in the west. Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who is the minister of economic affairs in Malaysia, also announced that the government will ensure future projects are open to public scrutiny, in an effort to ensure fairness and transparency.
Malaysia’s government and political landscape is currently in a state of self-assessment and recalibration, following the landmark election results of May 2018, in which the former Prime Minister Najib and his administration were stripped of power in favour of former prime minister and recent defector to the opposition, Mahathir Mohamad. In light of the ongoing investigations surrounding the previous administration, longstanding initiatives such as infrastructure development contracts are expected to be re-evaluated.