MTR Corp lobbies hard for rail funding

MTR Corp lobbies hard for rail funding

It's up to Legco to decide whether the new Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong railway gets the money so the project can be finished

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Frederick Ma called on pan-democratic lawmakers to "raise their hands high in mercy".
Photo: KY Cheng

MTR bosses warned of "catastrophic" consequences if lawmakers reject the HK$19 billion funding shortage facing the cross-border high-speed railway.

After 99.83 per cent of shareholders backed the funding boost at a meeting on Monday, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the government would seek approval from the Legislative Council - the last stage of getting funds for the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

MTR chairman Frederick Ma Si-hang called on pan-democratic lawmakers to "raise their hands high in mercy".


How big is too big on the MTR?


Ma said the HK$65 billion budget approved in 2009 would soon be used up, and the company needed to tell its contractors Legco's decision by next month.

"The consequences would be catastrophic in terms of unemployment and reputational damage," Ma warned if lawmakers rejected the extra funding.

"Hong Kong would become a joke in the international construction industry. What's more, we would lose a key rail connection with the mainland's high-speed railway network which would link Hong Kong to other parts of Asia and Europe."

He claimed last week that between 5,000 and 7,000 workers and engineers would lose their jobs if work was suspended.

MTR projects director Philco Wong Nai-keung said if the project was stopped, many building contracts would have to be suspended or cancelled, which could bring many lawsuits seeking compensation.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
MTR Corp lobbies hard for rail funding

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