Wednesday, 9 August 2017

(NST) All round approval for the ECRL by the people

KUANTAN: The construction of the much anticipated East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) is turning the dreams of people living in the east coast into reality.

Caterer Zaiton Madon said she has been hearing a lot of positive news about the ECRL project since its announcement last year, and decided to follow her husband Nordin Hussin, 59, to witness the historical ground breaking ceremony today.

The 53-year-old said she was grateful to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for coming up with such a long term project which is going to make it easier for people from the east coast to travel places.

"ECRL has been the talk of the town. Nobody expected such a major rail project in the east coast as all these years people only travelled on road and air.

"It has been a long wait but I am certain it is going to bring a lot of benefits," she said, adding it will be easier for her to visit her children in Kuala Lumpur.

Factory manager Lee Kim Seng, 40, said the the project's groundbreaking ceremony held at the ECRL KotaSAS Central Station Project site here, displayed the government's commitment in delivering promises and keeping to their word.

He said many people were skeptical when the government first announced the project last year but now they can be assured that things will slowly fall into place and the east coast states will soon be connected through the ECRL.

Apart from reducing the duration of the rail journey from the Integrated Transport Terminal (ITT) in Gombak, Selangor to Kota Baru, Kelantan to around four hours compared to the average eight hours, the ECRL will also open doors for students to be armed with railway engineering skills.

Here today, hundreds of students from various higher learning institutions and colleges had applied to join the ECRL Industrial Training Programme, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative between Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC).

One of the applicants, Nurul Amylia Hashim who is currently persuing her degree in civil engineering at Universiti Malaysia Pahang(UMP) said she is looking forward to be named as among the 3,600 students selected for the programme.

The 23-year-old final year student described it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity especially for students to get exposure and be part of the mega railway project, rail construction and train operating skill.

"On completing my industrial training, I hope to secure a job with MRL or CCCC. It will certainly be a new experience and all my coursemates are keeping our fingers crosses hoping for a positive reply," she said, adding that the rail project is going to allow students to go places and equip them with various new skills.

Meanwhile, State Culture and Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin said the rail link would boost tourism.

"Tourism is all about connectivity. The rail line will attract more tourists, especially locals, to the state to see what Pahang has to offer," he said.