Guan Eng refutes claims over tunnel consortium

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 07 Feb 2018

GEORGE TOWN: Amid revelations by China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd (CRCC) that it was never a shareholder of the Penang Undersea Tunnel consortium, Lim Guan Eng (pic) pointed out that he never said the company was a shareholder.

“I have never said that. CRCC is a contractor of the project with the backing of billions in assets,” said the Chief Minister yesterday.

Lim was responding to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai’s statements that the construction giant did not ink any contract directly with the Penang government for the mega project.

Lim said the state government would hold CRCC to their “contractual obligations” and would seek legal advice.

He also said it was unfair to drag state secretary Datuk Seri Farizan Darus into the issue as he cannot give any comments until the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) completes its investigations into allegations of corruption.

“The consortium fulfilled the minimal capital requirement of RM381mil, a must under the open tender system headed by the state secretary and senior government servants with no political leaders as members,” Lim told a press conference in Komtar.

On March 4, 2013, state publisher Buletin Mutiara ran an article quoting Farizan as saying that the special purpose vehicle (SPV) had a paid-up capital of RM4.549bil, with Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd and CRCC jointly holding 70%.

The joint statement by Farizan and then state financial officer Datuk Mokhtar Jait at that time was to address public concerns that the SPV had a paid-up capital of RM2.

Farizan said it was allowed because the SPV was only formed to bid for the tunnel plan and the four companies collaborating in the SPV was a Malaysia-China joint venture.

Lim yesterday repeated his claim that recent public announcements alleging discrepancies in the tunnel project was a clear sabotage by Barisan Nasional.

“They (MACC) have been investigating since 2016 but found nothing.

“But investigations began all over again with the coming general election, alleging there were kickbacks from the project,” claimed the Chief Minister.

On Monday, Liow revealed that he met CRCC’s top leaders during his trip to China recently and that they told him CRCC had never given approval nor did it know why the state government considered CRCC as shareholders of the SPV.

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