GEORGE TOWN: The company involved in building the Penang undersea tunnel project and three paired roads has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
He said the MACC had sent two letters, one each to Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd (CZC) and its senior executive director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, that no further action would be taken against them.
“So this matter is considered closed,” he said during a press conference at Komtar yesterday.
On Tuesday, the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) had called on Chow to place a moratorium on the state government’s agreement with CZC pending MACC’s investigation. CZC is the main contractor for the massive RM6.3bil undersea tunnel project.
C4’s executive director Cynthia Gabriel and northern region coordinator Sudhagaran Stanley urged Chow to send out a strong message that the Penang government would not compromise with unethical and corrupt practices, and would live up to high standards of integrity and good governance.
To this, Chow said an ongoing court case involving a businessman charged with three counts of cheating in relation to the Penang undersea tunnel project had nothing to do with the state government.
“The RM19mil is related to a cheating case as suggested in the charge sheet. The accused had to face the charge of misleading and cheating Zarul.
“This case has nothing to do with the state government although Zarul is the chairman of the company awarded the contract for the projects.
“It is not over the tender or how the government awarded the tender,” Chow said.
It was earlier reported that businessman Gnanaraja Gnanasundram, 38, pleaded not guilty in the Shah Alam Sessions Court here to three counts of cheating in relation to the Penang undersea tunnel project.He is accused of deceiving Zarul into paying him RM19mil in three transactions between July and August 2017.
In return, Gnanaraja would supposedly use his “connections” to help “settle” an ongoing MACC probe into the consortium.
Chow said the state government was still working with CZC on finalising the agreements for all the projects which were part of the Penang Transport Master Plan.
Meanwhile, Citizens Awareness Chant Group adviser Yan Lee said since the 5.7km bypass linking Ayer Itam to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway had been approved, the state government should release the EIA report with 59 conditions to be adhered to by the contractor.
“For Pan Island Link 1, we have seen the release of the 56 conditions.
“Likewise, the state government should also release the 59 conditions for the paired road project in the name of transparency,” he said during a press conference yesterday.
The project will be carried out by CZC.