ECRL to Use China Workers Due to Language, Says Gov’t

PUTRAJAYA The developer has applied to Putrajaya to hire Chinese nationals for the construction of East Coast Rail Link project due to ‘language accessibility’, says Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“They have applied to recruit Chinese workers as the equipment and machinery to be used are of China’s technology which uses Mandarin for the operating systems and manuals,” he said in a parliamentary reply last week.

“The consideration for the intake of foreign labour for various sectors approved (by the government) is based on the actual requirement of the employers plus the condition and eligibility ratio set by the Agensi Kawal Selia (Regulatory Agency),” he said.

“After a review, (the government) found that the application for the intake of foreign labour for ECRL project fulfils all the criteria and eligibility ratio set by the Agensi Kawal Selia (Regulatory Agency).

“Moreover, the deliberation on foreign workers from China is being done on a case-by-case basis and only those for high-impact government projects would be approved,” he added.

He was responding to Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli (PAS-Dungun) who asked if the intake of Chinese labour for ECRL project was done according to the relevant regulations.

Zahid (above), who replied in his capacity as home minister, however, did not elaborate on the number of Chinese workers to be involved in the RM55 billion 688 km railway line project.

ECRL is owned by Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and will be constructed by China Communications Construction Ltd (CCCC).

Touted as a “game-changer”, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has previously said it would boost economic growth in three states along the east coast – Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.