ECRL poised to close economic gap among people, says deputy minister

By BERNAMA / Pic By TMR File

THE East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) is seen as being capable of lifting the economy of residents in the states involved including Kelantan, said Deputy Home Minister and Senator Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin (picture).

He said the project is in line with the ambition of Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to link up infrastructure as a catalyst for the future economy under the “Shared Prosperity” concept.

“Prosperity is not only to close the economic gap between the people and regions — development efforts are also to close the gap between the economy of towns in Kelantan with other, more developed states to ensure greater equality.

“The emphasis given on Kelantan can be seen when the PM tabled the 11th Malaysia Plan midterm review in October last year, where Kelantan was among the six states to be given a development allocation. This is a blessing to the people of Kelantan as there will be spillover effects to the people,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters during a Ketereh Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Premier Sacrifice Ritual at the Sungai Ketereh Farmers’ Association in Kota Baru yesterday.

In this regard, Mohd Radzi — who is also Kelantan Action Council (MTNg) deputy chairman — said the announcement by Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who is Kelantan MTNg chairman, that five projects given priority by the federal government in March would also benefit the people in the state.

He said the five projects are the construction of East Coast Expressway Phase 3 (LPT3), expansion and upgrade of the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, the new Pasir Puteh-Machang-Jeli link, Kota Baru-Kuala Krai Highway and the Palekbang-Kota Baru bridge.

“For example, the Palekbang bridge in Tumpat, which has long been awaited by the people, could expedite travelling between Tumpat and Kota Baru as the present route is congested during peak hours.

“Similarly, the upgrading of the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport is expected to reduce congestion at the airport, while LPT3 would ease and expand the network of roads between Gemuruh in Kuala Terengganu and Tumpat,” he said. — Bernama