KUALA LUMPUR: There are no plans to postpone or cancel mega projects meant for the benefit of the nation and rakyat, says Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (pic).
The assurance by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department following plans to defer proposed projects for 2022 in line with the government’s cost-saving measures.
“Projects such as the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), MRT3 and the Pan Borneo Highway will go ahead as planned. What is being looked at are projects which have yet to even begin,” he said.
Mustapa said this when answering a question raised by Fahmi Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai) in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (July 21).
He added that crucial projects that were related to the nation’s economic wellbeing and welfare of the rakyat, would not be included in the cost-saving measures.
He noted that a total of 7,243 projects worth some RM75.6bil were approved this year under Budget 2022.
“So far, we have identified 30 projects which have yet to start and will be postponed. These projects involved the allocation of about RM100mil which is a paltry sum,” he said, assuring Datuk Seri Azizah Mohd Dun (PN-Beaufort) that no welfare projects will be affected in Sabah.
He was responding to Azizah’s remarks that RM100mil may be a small sum for the ministry but not for the needy in Sabah.
Mustapa, who is in charge of the economy, assured the House that only projects which have yet to begin will be reviewed.
“The definition of a project which has yet to start are those where the procurement process has yet to even begin or advertised or those which have problems such as not even having land for the project,” he said.
Based on the government’s definition, he added that a project is deemed as having started if the company were issued letters of intent or acceptance by the government.
“There is a misconception that there must be actual earthworks for a project to have started,” he said, adding that projects will have gotten the go-ahead and will carry on as planned for the year.
He said the cost-saving move is an ongoing process as the government needs to channel the savings to offset the rising cost of subsidies.
“The amount of subsidies has drastically increased from about RM30bil under the budget to RM77bil,” he added.
Mustapa added that a more complete list of affected projects will be known by this coming September.