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Transcript of STH's meet-the-media session on XRL Hong Kong Section (2)

Reporter: Secretary, how are you going to make sure the construction would not stop for now as you know the funds are running out? Who are going to foot the bill?

Secretary for Transport and Housing: I think at this stage I cannot offer too much comment because we have only just received the review results from the MTR Corporation. So whatever findings presented to the Government today are subject to very critical scrutiny by the Highways Department, as assisted by the M&V (monitoring and verification) Consultant. We do not accept the figures as of now. So we have to look into what lies behind the figures, the assumptions, the various factors that are taken into account by the Corporation in coming up with these findings. Of course, as I said in my statement earlier, the most important and primary objective of the Government at this stage is to achieve cost control and to try our best, of course this is subject to the co-operation and the hard efforts of the MTR Corporation, to speed up the works. We are still very concerned about the progress of the works. As to obligations, I've already made myself quite clear in my statement. MTR Corporation as the project manager has the greatest responsibility and obligation in overseeing this project to make sure that it should be completed on time and within budget. Of course sometimes we understand that for major infrastructure projects, there would be unknown, unexpected circumstances, complications which need to be taken into account. We will do that of course, but at the end of the day there is very important responsibility on the part the MTR Corporation.

Reporter: Have the MTRC been transparent so far? Do you think they are still trying to hide from the Government?

Secretary for Transport and Housing: We have just received the latest assessment results from the MTR Corporation. At this point I cannot comment on the findings specifically because these findings are still subject to critical scrutiny by the Highways Department.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:31


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