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Malaysia in transition

Malaysia to halve cost of key rail project in infrastructure review

Mahathir government shows determination on fiscal discipline

KUALA LUMPUR -- The Malaysian government on Thursday said it would slash the cost of an ongoing light rail project by 47%, blaming "poor governance" by the previous administration for inflating the expense.

The drastic reduction to 16.63 billion ringgit ($4.11 billion), from 31.65 billion ringgit, is the latest sign of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's determination to trim public outlays and achieve fiscal discipline. It can also be seen as an attempt to show foreign partners in other projects that the government is serious about viability and reducing costs through negotiations.

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