GEORGE TOWN: Lim Guan Eng has now brought up the signing of a memorandum of understanding with China some seven years ago as his defence for the controversial Penang Undersea Tunnel project.
The Penang Chief Minister said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was present with then Chinese premier Wen Jiabao during the April 28, 2011 ceremony.
“He (Najib) witnessed the ceremony in which it was stated clearly that the MoU was between a China company and the Penang government.
“Maybe, he has forgotten about this. Maybe, he forgot that he attended the MoU signing. That is why I will write a letter to state my willingness to go to Putrajaya and meet him to give an explanation,” he told a press conference in Komtar.
Lim said that the state government had a contract with China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd (CRCC) as the main contractor for the project.
He said CRCC was a party to the main agreement as the engineering, procurement and construction partner and signed an acknowledgement of commitment to confirm its role.
“It was a form of a tripartite agreement and it was valid. So, I am worried that the Prime Minister kena tarik (was pulled in) to interfere in the project,” said Lim.
To this, Barisan Nasional strategic communications deputy director Datuk Eric See-To rebuked Lim, telling him not to try and use the Prime Minister as a “diversion”.
See-To said the project was now under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
“I called upon Lim to quickly answer queries raised by (MCA deputy president) Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong that CRCC had stopped work on the project as they only received RM3mil in payments from the SPV (special purpose vehicle) since the project was awarded in 2013.
“This is serious. With both BUCG (Beijing Urban Construction Group) and CRCC no longer shareholders or involved in the tunnel project, questions may be asked if there is any wrongdoing that led to a small local company that was only 82 days old with RM300,000 in paid-up capital to win a RM6.34bil project,” he said.
“The Penang government must ask the SPV to show documented proof of payment to CRCC in order to rebut the points raised by Dr Wee.”