Anwar, Li Qiang officiate Groundbreaking Ceremony ECRL Integrated Terminal Station, Bring benefits for Malaysia-China relationship

Anwar, Li Qiang officiate Groundbreaking Ceremony ECRL Integrated Terminal Station, Bring benefits for Malaysia-China relationship

Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his Chinese counterpart Li Qiang showed up today to demonstrate strong bilateral cooperation and complete the groundbreaking ceremony for the Gombak East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) Integrated Terminal Station.

The groundbreaking ceremony paved the way for the preparation of the ECRL rail, which involves the route from Kota Bharu, Kelantan, to the Gombak Integrated Terminal, Selangor, which is expected to be completed in December 2026.

Located in an area of 8.73 hectares on the edge of the longest quartz formation area in the world, ‘Gombak Selangor Quartz Ridge’, this Gombak ECRL Integrated Terminal station is also expected to be connected to the existing Gombak LRT station to facilitate connectivity through the Kelana Jaya Line LRT.

“The ECRL line between Gombak and Port Klang is expected to be completed by December 2027,” according to a statement issued by Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL).

The station built for passenger use will feature a dedicated platform for users, in addition to providing various facilities such as parking, pick-up and drop-off areas, covered walkways, staff quarters and landscaped gardens.

The groundbreaking ceremony was part of the Chinese Prime Minister’s official visit to Malaysia in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China.

Also present were Transport Minister Anthony Loke, MRL Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing, Chairman of China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) Wang Tongzhou, ministers and senior officials of the Malaysian and Chinese governments.

Meanwhile, Loke, in the same statement, was quoted as saying that the ECRL will optimize connectivity for passengers and freight transport between the east and west coasts of Peninsular Malaysia when it operates later.

“We expect the ECRL to drive the shift of cargo movement from road transport to rail services, which is an alternative mode of transport that is safe for long distances as well as environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

“MOT is also exploring the possibility of extending the ECRL line to take advantage of Thailand’s rail network, paving the way for ECRL to become part of the Pan-Asian rail network capable of connecting Malaysia with China, thereby realizing the vision of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),” he said.

The 665 km-long ECRL that starts from Kota Bharu and ends at Port Klang will feature 20 stations, consisting of 10 passenger-only stations and another 10 stations that combine freight and passenger transport.

The development of the East Coast Rail Link Project (ECRL) not only reflects the close strategic relationship between China and Malaysia, but it will also guarantee fresher economic growth in the East Coast states. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that the project worth more than RM50 billion, which started during the time of the former Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, clearly shows the government’s willingness and commitment to create a more comprehensive development.

Therefore, the Prime Minister said he hopes that the main contractors, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL), will speed up the construction project, which is estimated to be completed in December 2026.

“We are not only recording development but guaranteeing more even development because this ECRL will guarantee the growth of a region that is considered more or less competitive and does not have the ability to compete unless we provide good enough infrastructure.

“Infrastructure is being prepared, including in Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang, that will give us space so that we can witness fresher economic growth in the following states. That is why I have told CCCC and MRL to speed up the implementation of this project.

“From the point of view of the Unity Government, we will provide all cooperation to ensure the growth and success of the project, and we also ask for some attention, including guarantees, the cooperation of local contractors and bumiputera, and sufficient workers, consultants, and suppliers,” he added.

Anwar said this while speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Gombak East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) Integrated Terminal Station, which was also attended by the Chinese Prime Minister, Li Qiang.

Earlier, the media reported that the construction work on the 665-kilometer-long ECRL is progressing smoothly, with 67 percent of its construction completed to date, although in the early stages of its development and implementation, it is faced with various challenges.

The Chief Secretary, Tan Sri Zuki Ali, who is also the Chairman of the MRL, said that the project across the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, and Selangor was aimed at becoming a ‘game changer’ for the economy, especially in improving Malaysia’s transport network, especially on the east coast and west of the country.

Li Qiang’s presence at the ceremony, he further said, reflected the strength of bilateral relations between the two countries that have existed for a long time, which ensured the successful implementation of projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) led by Beijing.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister also expressed his appreciation to China, especially to Li and President Xi Jinping, for the country’s involvement in mega infrastructure projects such as the ECRL.

Anwar said that he saw the importance of the project not just as an infrastructure but also as how it can create an ecosystem that can drive advantages and economic activities more rapidly.
He also expressed appreciation to China for its efforts to transfer technology and provide opportunities for local industry players to improve their knowledge and skills in related fields.

“We leaders can plan and design policies, but I am very pleased when we know the level of commitment of technocrats and workers like you (who are involved in ECRL). You have shown that we are able to make it more effective and successful, especially in ensuring that it is ready faster than expected,” he added.

The construction work of the 665-kilometer East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) project is progressing smoothly, with 67 percent of its construction completed to date, although in the early stages of its development and implementation, it is facing various challenges.

With the intention of increasing connectivity and stimulating economic development, the project across the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, and Selangor is targeted to be a ‘game changer’ for the economy, especially in improving Malaysia’s transport network, especially on the east and west coasts of the country.

This mega infrastructure project, which is proof of the strong bilateral relationship between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, is expected to be completed by the end of 2026.
The RM50.2 billion project featuring a route connecting the east and west coasts of the country across 20 stations marked another milestone today with the completion of the groundbreaking ceremony for ECRL Gombak’s Integrated Transport Terminal (ITT) Station by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Prime Minister Chinese Minister Li Qiang, who are on a three-day official visit to Malaysia.

Chairman of Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali told Bernama that Li Qiang’s presence at the event reflects the strength of the bilateral relationship between the two countries that has existed for a long time, which ensures the successful implementation of the project under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) led by Beijing.
“It is the first groundbreaking ceremony for this project in Selangor and also marks the starting point of the construction of the first station for the ECRL line in Selangor, which will have five stations,” he said.

“This station will serve as the main gateway to the capital city, facilitating the travel of ECRL users from the Klang Valley to the East Coast states. The ECRL will also be connected to the Kelana Jaya LRT Line at the Gombak Integrated Terminal, providing a better network and increased passenger capacity. Larger.

“The ECRL line from Kota Bharu to Gombak is expected to be completed by the end of 2026 and operational in January 2027. The travel time between Kota Bharu and the Klang Valley is expected to be around four hours, compared to seven hours or more by road during the festive season. Overall, the progress of the ECRL project is at 67 percent,” he said.

Last April, Transport Minister Anthony Loke told the media that the ECRL network in Selangor, which spans a distance of almost 120 kilometers, will have five stations, namely Terminal Bersepadu Gombak, Kapar, and Jalan Kastam, for passengers only, while Bandar Serendah and Puncak Alam stations are connecting stations for passengers and cargo.

The construction phase for the ECRL project began with a groundbreaking ceremony in Kuantan in August 2017, but the works were suspended in 2018 for financial reasons before resuming in July 2019 at a lower cost.

The ECRL connects state capitals, major urban centers, industrial hubs, ports, airports, and tourist zones, as well as interchanges with existing railway lines in Peninsular Malaysia.

The mega infrastructure project is owned by MRL, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Minister of Finance (Incorporated), while China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) acts as the main contractor for the project.

Director of the Malaysian Transport Institute (MITRANS) Associate Prof. Ts Dr. Wan Mazlina Wan Mohamed told Bernama that the ECRL is an important national infrastructure project to enhance regional development and connectivity and improve public transit across its electric railway network, connecting urban and rural areas.

“It also reduces environmental pollution by switching from the use of fuel-based vehicles to an electric rail network and provides a safe alternative mode of public transport for long-distance travel,” said Wan Mazlina.

Meanwhile, Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said March that ECRL functions as a catalyst for socioeconomic growth and is expected to increase Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product by 3.78 percent by 2047.

“ECRL is poised to be a ‘game changer’ for Malaysia, connecting us more closely to the Pan-Asian rail network and increasing our connectivity with the Asean and Eurasian regions,” said Tengku Zafrul in his keynote speech at the East Coast Rail Link Seminar: Economic Accelerator Project (ECRL-EAP) Business and Investment Opportunities recently.

Meanwhile, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd’s Chief Economist, Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid, said that when completed, the ECRL project will benefit, among others, the property sector due to the effects of urbanization and rising property prices.

Last April the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) said ECRL-EAP is expected to generate RM1.4 trillion for the Malaysian economy by 2047, with a focus on the development of industrial parks, logistics hubs and transit-oriented Oriented Development (TOD).

The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) said in April that ECRL-EAP is expected to generate RM1.4 trillion for the Malaysian economy by 2047, with a focus on industrial parks, logistics hubs and transit-oriented Oriented Development (TOD).

“As the project is the largest ever implemented along the East Coast alignment, it is appropriate for companies to seize the opportunities that arise in areas that can be explored further, including renewable energy, sustainability products and services, and education and training centers,” said MIDA.

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