The Star - ‘Cancellation of HSR should have followed due process’
Saturday, June 02, 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: The cancellation of the high speed rail (HSR) project should have been made only after the Cabinet had decided on it and not before.

In a statement, Centre for a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) co-president Gan Ping Sieu (pic) said as a matter of good governance, the announcement should have come only after a Cabinet decision.

“While we support the new Govern­ment’s efforts to review poten­­tially wasteful projects and lopsided deals, such decisions should have followed due process.”

Based on media reports, he said, Transport Minister Anthony Loke revealed the matter was not discussed at the Cabinet prior to the Prime Minister’s May 28 announcement.

“This includes preparing a Cabinet paper and getting feedback from all relevant agencies and state governments,” Gan said.

He said based on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s May 28 announcement, the decision to cancel the project was made after he chaired the party’s supreme council meeting and not in his capacity as a premier.

“The Constitution is clear that the Cabinet is the highest executive body. The manner in which the announcement was made runs counter to the spirit of accountability and transparency pledged by the new Federal Government,” he added.

The Cabinet’s decision on the HSR project on May 30, he said, can be perceived as an afterthought and clearly without going through sufficient consultation.

“If decisions on an RM110bil mega project can be made without stringent due process, we are worried this can set a precedent in deciding other government projects,” Gan said.

He said such decisions will undermine institutional integrity, which should never be compromised for political expediency.

“All major national decisions must be made by the Cabinet after due process and consultation to prevent abuse of power and leaka­ges,” he said.

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