The Malaysian East Coast Railway Link (ECRL) project that was relaunched recently is expected to bring about a positive impact on local contractors and SMEs. Deputy president of the Terengganu Malay Contractors Association of Malaysia (PKMMT), Zamri Awang Hitam, said that it has been quite some time since the state of Terengganu had undertaken a project of such a scale; with the previous mega-project being the East Coast Highway 2 (LPT 2).

“No other mega-project was brought to the state after that. Not even small projects and this has caused many contractors to go bust,” he told Bernama.

At the event announcing the resumption of the mega-project, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said in his speech that the percentage of local construction contractors in the relaunched project would be increased to 40 per cent from 30 per cent previously.

“We hope that with the 40 per cent quota for local contractors, they will be able to bounce back from adversity,” said Zamri who heads the association which has 1,300 members.

The relaunch of the ECRL project is breathing new life into local contractors and also residents of the area. Given that the government has already assured a 40 per cent quota that will be allocated to local contractors, it is now left to said contractors to prepare their company profiles to win tenders.

Apart from contractors, local SMEs also stand to gain significant benefits from the ECRL project. If such SME operators can take proactive steps towards grabbing opportunities that arise from implementation of the project, they can expect to see a huge boost to growth and profits.

In his speech, Loke repeatedly stressed the federal government’s commitment to bringing development and transport facilities to various parts of the country without neglecting the east coast states.

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