Guan Eng graft trial: Witness says CZBUCG had the highest score at RFP stage

KUALA LUMPUR: A former Penang exco member said that Consortium Zenith Beijing Urban Construction Group Sdn Bhd (CZBUCG) had the highest score in the request for proposal (RFP) stage out of the eight companies shortlisted for a project involving three roads and a tunnel in Penang.

Datuk Lim Hock Seng said when testifying as a witness in the corruption trial of Lim Guan Eng that the state exco also agreed to Guan Eng's proposal to form two separate committees - Technical and Finance - to assess the proposals for the project in 2012.

"As far as I know, CZBUCG was recommended by the technical and finance committees because they fulfilled all the conditions of the RFP, said the former state exco in charge of public works, public utilities and transportation affairs

"Following that, the state tender board certified and agreed to appoint CZBUCG because they received the highest scores in their technical and financial assessments.

"This decision was later brought to the state exco meeting for approval," he told the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on Thursday (July 15).

Hock Seng said then Penang state secretary Datuk Seri Farizan Darus presented the decision at a state exco meeting on Jan 30, 2013 to consider CZBUCG's appointment for the project.

He added that the state government had held two pre-qualification exercise briefings in 2011 on Nov 29 and Dec 14, prior to the RFP stage which was attended by a total of 60 companies.

Hock Seng said that after the briefings, 11 companies sent in their pre-qualification documents and out of that, eight companies were short-listed to the RFP stage including CZBUCG, which was formed following a merger between Zenith BUCG, Juteras and Sri Tinggi.

The other seven in the bidding were China State Construction Engineering Corp Ltd & VST Cemerlang Sdn Bhd, Setia Precast Bhd, ECK Construction Sdn Bhd, Gamuda Bhd, Zambina Wawasan Sdn Bhd, IJM-CRGL Joint Ventures and WCT-Daewoo Joint Ventures.

In his testimony on Wednesday (July 14) Hock Seng said Guan Eng had instructed him to contact BUCG representatives in January 2011.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed between the Penang state government and BUCG in Putrajaya as a symbol of interest to build a five-kilometre tunnel at the cost of RM10bil.

Guan Eng, 60, is facing four corruption charges involving the construction of an undersea tunnel and paired roads project in Penang.

For the first amended charge, the Bagan MP is charged with using his position as then Penang chief minister to corruptly receive RM3.3mil to help a company owned by Zarul to secure the undersea tunnel and paired roads project in Penang worth RM6,341,383,702.

The offence was allegedly committed between January 2011 and August 2017 at the Penang chief minister's office.

For the second amended charge, Guan Eng is charged with soliciting 10% of profits from Zarul to help the company be appointed for the same project.

Guan Eng was charged with committing the offence near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City here in March 2011, between 12.30am and 2am.

The former finance minister was also charged with two counts of causing two lots of land owned by the Penang state government worth RM208.8mil to be disposed of by the developer linked to the undersea tunnel project.

The offences were allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office, Komtar on Feb 17, 2015 and March 22, 2017.

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