LAST_UPDATEMon, 21 May 2018 9am

Penang Undersea Tunnel Probe: Don't Interfere In MACC Investigations, DAP-Led Govt Told

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Barisan Nasional today warned that it would reveal more discrepancies in the proposed RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel project in the coming days, as graftbuster intensifies investigation into the matter.

State BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow also said legal suit will be filed against the state government if it continued to remain silent on the slew of questions raised by various parties about the project.

He said Penangites have the right to demand for transparency and accountability because any payment made by the state government, whether in kind or cash, is public money.

Citing the latest example, Teng said the state government had yesterday acknowledged that 1.5ha of land had been swapped as payment for RM208 million feasibility study of the three paired roads which formed part of the tunnel project.

"In a reply to a question at the state legislative assembly sitting on May 19, last year, the state government had made public that Lot 702 and part of Lot 713 in Bandar Tanjung Tokong had been given to a consortium on Feb 17, 2015 and March 22, last year.

"The value of 1.46ha of land under Lot 702 was valued at RM135 million and 0.8ha under partial Lot 713 was RM73 million, thus the total value of RM208 million. It is crystal clear that the feasibility study was paid by the state government by giving two pieces of land as provided by answers in the state legislative assembly.

"Any payment, whether in kind or cash from the state government, is public money and the public is entitled to demand for explanation," he told newsmen at the state Gerakan headquarters here today.

Yesterday, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had said that the RM208 million land swap was for the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the three paired roads projects.

However, the state legislative assembly sitting on May 19, last year was told that the land swap was payment for the feasibility studies and detailed design of the three paired roads.

"So, which is which? Who do we believe? We are equally confused.

"We want answers, and if don't get them, we are considering getting a court order to view the documents for the tunnel project.

"Otherwise, we will leave it to the people to judge for themselves the kind of administration we have running Penang," he added.

Teng also pointed out another discrepancy in the cost of the feasibility studies and detailed designs for the three paired roads.

He said according to the China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC), they claimed that they had secured the job to conduct the feasibility studies and detailed design at a cost of US$22 million, which converted is about RM90 million.

"Why CRCC quoted an amount that was different than the RM208 million announced by the state government? The CRCC may no longer be involved in the project now but the state had already paid for the studies with the land swap and the public have a right to know." he added.