Malaysia, which recently saw the first change of power since independence from Britain, has suspended the construction of the $20 billion East Coast Railway Link being built under China’s One Belt and One Road (OBOR) Initiative.The suspension of work comes after the newly elected government in Malaysia said it wants to renegotiate the terms of the deal signed with China. The government has said it will review major projects agreed by the previous administration, accused of being corrupt and scandal-plagued. In a letter to China Communications Construction announcing the decision, Malaysia cited “national interest” among other reasons for the suspension of the project.
Malaysian finance minister Lim Guan Eng has said he will visit China soon to renegotiate the deal. According to him, construction of the rail link under the current deal is costing nearly 50 per cent more than estimates. This decision comes amid push back against China-led projects in Southeast Asia.