MTR Corp. Ltd. (00066.HK) is warning that any attempt to filibuster a new financing request for the national express rail project will be disastrous for Hong Kong’s reputation.
Chairman Frederick Ma said legislators should contemplate that prospect before they make any move that will force the cancellation of the HK$84.42 billion (US$10.82 billion) project, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
“The whole world will condemn you if construction is forced to stop,” Ma said, adding the project involves contractors from Britain, France, Japan and South Korea, among others.
Ma, who previously headed the commerce and treasury departments, criticized the present political environment, saying it is worse than when he left office in 2008.
Critics say the project is a white elephant with a bloated budget and questionable economic benefits for Hong Kong.
Ma said any delay in funding could cost an additional HK$10 billion to restart construction and “clean up the mess”.
The added expense will come if the funding request is not approved by the Legislative Council by the end of March, he said.
MTRC said it is confident minority shareholders will support a funding arrangement with the government, its largest stakeholder, which covers the extra budget and a proposed special dividend.
[Chinese version 中文版]
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