‘Only assisting in probe’

GEORGE TOWN: No state exco members here are expected to be questioned, detained or face charges over the undersea tunnel and three paired roads projects, which are going on as planned, says Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.“The exco members, including me, are not under investigation. We were assisting in the investigations.

“We were called in to give statements regarding the investigations,” he told a press conference at Penang DAP headquarters yesterday held in solidarity with former finance minister Lim Guan Eng.

Chow said Lim’s court case would not affect the state’s decisions on the undersea tunnel project.

“Work on the project has not started. What is there to stop?” he asked.

“This package involves three major roads and one undersea tunnel; the three paired roads’ feasibility study has been completed with land as payment-in-kind.

“The court proceedings will not affect the implementation of the paired roads project since the feasibility study for the project has been completed.”

He said that preliminary works for one of the packages – the 5.7km Ayer Itam to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway bypass – had also begun.“For the tunnel, the feasibility study is not completed yet and no payment has been given.

“When the studies are completed, the state government will then decide whether and when to proceed or otherwise.

“As we mentioned previously, the feasibility study has not been completed and no payment has been given. When it is completed, again the state government will decide when to proceed, which is our standard answer.

“The court case does not affect the state government’s decisions,” he said.

On a separate note, state DAP publicity secretary Steven Sim, who is in charge of the “Solidarity with Lim Guan Eng” campaign, reminded supporters not to gather in large groups near Butterworth Sessions Court tomorrow and on Tuesday, as advised by the police to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

He said only senior state and federal DAP leaders and supporting staff would appear to show support to Lim and Lim’s wife, Betty Chew.

“We hope party members, supporters and the public understand the situation,” he said.

On Friday, Lim, who is DAP secretary-general, was charged with soliciting gratification to help a company secure the RM6.3bil Penang undersea tunnel project.

He is alleged to have sought 10% of the profits from Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd senior director Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli as an inducement to get the contract for the project. Zenith was awarded the project.

He pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur.

Lim is expected to face further charges over the undersea tunnel project at the Butterworth Sessions Court tomorrow and “other cases” on Tuesday.

Chew is expected to be charged on Tuesday, believed to be for a land conversion deal and the purchase of a bungalow at below market price.

Meanwhile, DAP has launched a “Solidarity with Lim Guan Eng” donation drive to raise the RM1mil bail for its party chief.

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