Malaysia's China-backed rail project to cost more with extended line

Malaysia said Monday a China-backed railway project will now cost 14 percent more but with a longer line that it hopes will spur cargo traffic linking the east coast port of Kuantan facing the South China Sea to west coast ports facing the Straits of Malacca. These are the third changes to the East Coast Rail Link that was one of the showpiece infrastructure projects under China’s Belt and Road Initiative and was launched in 2016 during former Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s administration. The double-track, 688-kilometer railway line carried a price tag of 65.5 billion ringgit ($15.82 bill…

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