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November 13, 2008

Malaysia’s $870m highway plan shelved over funding woes

Malaysia has shelved plans to build a 3.12 billion ringgit ($871 million) highway on the west coast due to a lack of funding, news agency Bernama said on Wednesday.

Malaysia, facing a bigger budget deficit amid a slowing economy, has recently announced plans to delay some big construction projects and defence purchases.

The government had awarded a concession to a consortium comprising Talam Bhd and Kumpulan Europlus Bhd to build and operate the 250-km toll highway.

But Sulaiman Mahbob, the head of Malaysia's economic planning unit, was quoted by Bernama as saying that the project had been shelved because the consortium failed to secure financing for the project within the stipulated time frame.

"We will probably need to re-tender because the company that was offered could not finalise the (financing) deal on time," he said.

The highway would have linked Taiping town in the northern state of Perak to Banting in the central state of Selangor.

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