KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court here was told on Thursday (Nov 11) that Consortium Zenith BUCG Sdn Bhd (CZBUCG) had direct knowledge in the preparation of a request for proposal (RFP) draft for an undersea tunnel and paired roads project in Penang.
Former Penang state secretary Datuk Seri Farizan Darus, 62, (pic) said as the company had the expertise in the preparation of such drafts, it was instructed to take several measures, including amending the RFP document and returning it within a week to the State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN).
"In my opinion, based on the minutes of the RFP preparation meeting on July 11, 2011, this company has been directly involved in the preparation (draft) of the RFP document while the state government's policy is that procurement is given through open tender in line with CAT (Competency, Accountability and Transparency),” he said.
The ninth prosecution witness said this during the examination-in-chief by Deputy Public Prosecutor Farah Yasmin Salleh in the corruption trial of former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng, who is facing four charges involving the construction of an undersea tunnel and paired roads project in Penang valued at RM6.3bil.
Farizan, who is now the Chief Executive Officer of Penang Infrastructure Corporation Sdn Bhd, said outside parties can be involved in the preparation of an RFP on the condition that it is not part of the requisition for tenders so as to be fair to qualified bidders.
He said CZBUCG won the bid as decided by the Penang Procurement Board.
"A comparison was made between five companies that took the RFP and based on the assessment made, CZBUCG obtained 93% overall compared to the other companies,” he said, adding that other companies involved were IJM-Crgl Joint Venture, WCT Bhd, ECK Construction Sdn Bhd and VST Cemerlang Sdn Bhd.
Farizan said the RFP document was confidential and its contents could not be released by any party.
According to the first amended charge, Lim, 60, is accused of using his position as then Penang chief minister to obtain a bribe of RM3.3mil for helping a company owned by Zarul Ahmad to secure the construction project worth RM6,341,383,702 between January 2011 and August 2017.
On the second amended charge, Lim is accused of soliciting bribes amounting to 10% of the profits from Zarul Ahmad to be earned by the company as gratification for helping his (Zarul) company to secure the project.
Lim also faces two charges of causing two plots of land, worth RM208.8mil, belonging to the Penang government, to be disposed of to two companies, which are linked to the state’s undersea tunnel project, between February 2015 and March 2017.
The trial before Judge Azura Alwi continues Friday (Nov 12). - Bernama