Chinese firm told to suspend $20 bln Malaysia rail project

July 04, 2018 - 8:21 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Chinese company building a key rail link in Malaysia says it has been told to suspend work pending negotiations. It urged the new government elected two months ago to honor the contract.

The suspension Wednesday came a day after the government called for a sharp reduction in cost for the 688 kilometer (430 miles) East Coast Rail Link.

Officials say the project's actual cost is 81 billion ringgit ($20 billion), nearly 50 percent more than estimated by the previous government.

China Communication said Wednesday the suspension could add to costs, losses and damages. It called for a "win-win situation" in negotiations and urged the government to "honor and respect" the deal.

The project is part of China's regional "Belt and Road" infrastructure initiative.

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