PETALING JAYA: The Penang government should clear the air “once and for all” over the Major Roads and Tunnel project instead of issuing contradictory statements, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
“I would like to ask the party responsible to provide answers to the questions raised so as not to give the impression that it is trying to evade the issue.
“We can clearly see that there are various contradicting remarks from the state government and those issued by the shareholders of the project between 2013 and 2018,” he said in a statement.
The MCA deputy president highlighted the “changes” within the special purpose vehicle (SPV).
“A consortium company turned into a ‘coterie company’ from international standards to a small-time company, professional becoming freelancer and from cash-rich into underfunded.
“One of the obvious changes is the CRCC (China Railway Construction Corporation) and BUCG (Beijing Urban Construction Group) are no longer in the consortium company,” he said.
Dr Wee also said when it was announced that the open tender for the consortium has a paid-up capital of RM4.55bil, the CRCC’s RM4bil capital was touted.
“But if the CRCC was not part of the consortium, then its capital cannot be taken into account,” he said.
Dr Wee added that the consortium, originally named “Consortium Zenith BUCG”, has now turned into a subsidiary of Zenith Construction.
He said Zenith Construction and Vertice Bhd (formerly Voir Holdings Bhd) have more than half of the equity, making them the largest shareholders.
“The other – Juteras Sdn Bhd – a company with originally 10% equity, owns only 0.75% now,” he said.
Dr Wee also reiterated the acknowledgement of a commitment letter which was not duly stamped and hence, has no legal effect.
He said the agreement used by the Penang government to promulgate the project did not have CRCC as a signing party.
“So, it is just a supporting document.
“It can only be used as a reference and not considered as part of the contract,” he said, adding that a stamped contract and acknowledgement of commitment were “two different things”.
Early last month, the mega project came under the spotlight when the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission arrested several key officials for suspicion of graft.
The project includes the construction of a 7.2km undersea tunnel connecting Gurney Drive on the island to Bagan Ajam in north Butterworth.
There will also be a 10.53km North Coastal Paired Road from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang, a 5.7km Air Itam-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass and a 4.075km Gurney Drive-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass.